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The World in Medicine
October 15, 2003

PAHO Influenza Plan

JAMA. 2003;290(15):1984. doi:10.1001/jama.290.15.1984-a

Scientists in Iceland report they have discovered a gene associated with an increased risk for ischemic stroke. The new findings were published online on September 21 by Nature Genetics (http://www.nature.com/ng/).

The newly identified stroke-susceptibility gene, PDE4D, encodes an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4D, which previously had not been implicated in stroke. Phosphodiesterase breaks down cyclic adenosine monophosphate, a molecule with many biological roles—one of which affects proliferation and migration of vascular cells, and thus may be involved in promoting atherosclerosis.