Genetic Variation and Response to Neurocritical Illness: a Powerful Approach to Identify Novel Pathophysiological Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets

Neurotherapeutics. 2020 Apr;17(2):581-592. doi: 10.1007/s13311-020-00837-2.


Disease-specific therapeutic options for critically ill neurological patients are limited. The identification of new preventive, therapeutic, and rehabilitation strategies is of the utmost importance in the field of neurocritical care research. Population genetics offers powerful tools to identify and prioritize biological pathways to be targeted by novel interventions. New treatments with supportive genetic evidence have twice the chances of obtaining final FDA approval compared to those without this support. Large collaborations, public access to data, reproducible science, and innovative analytical methods have exponentially increased the pace of discoveries related to neurocritical care genetics.

Keywords: Neurocritical care; brain injury; genetics; mortality; recovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Critical Care / trends
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population* / methods
  • Genetics, Population* / trends
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Neurology / methods*
  • Neurology / trends