Background and purpose: The field of ischemic stroke genetics is moving beyond candidate gene studies into the realm of genomewide association studies. Such studies have resulted in discoveries in diverse, complex disorders.
Methods: The author conducted an informal qualitative review of peer-reviewed medical literature.
Results: The power of genomewide association studies to confirm prior associations and establish new ones is illustrated by recent work focusing on type 2 diabetes mellitus. A pilot genomewide association study of ischemic stroke failed to identify a single gene of major effect.
Conclusions: Follow-up studies with substantially greater statistical power are essential and are being planned by the Wellcome Trust and others.