This article reviews genetic studies of stroke, bearing insight into human evidence by using studies on twins as well as on monogenic forms of stroke. Focus will be given to inbred animal models that have been used to improve genetic homogeneity and to control environmental influences. Such animal studies have lead to the identification of quantitative trait loci harboring putative genes for stroke susceptibility and sensitivity. The major strategies for gene identification are discussed. Experimental animal models of stroke have also revealed a sexual dimorphism in stroke susceptibility and sensitivity and this article reviews 2 possible candidates, namely, the Y chromosome and estrogens.
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