Drug classes affecting intracranial aneurysm risk: Genetic correlation and Mendelian randomization


We want to congratulate Mark Bakker with his latest publication, linked to WP1 – Preclinical and experimental studies

With his CONTRAST Young Talent Fellowship, Mark Bakker linked antidepressant drug usage to an increased risk of intracranial aneurysms (IA) and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (ASAH).
Utilizing a genetic approach, the authors aimed to find drug classes of which their usage might lower the risk of IA or ASAH. The authors followed a two-step approach. First, overlap between genetic risk factors for IA and the usage of drugs from several drug classes was established. Second, a more in-depth genetic approach was used to assess causality and therapeutic potential of the selected drug classes. The rationale behind the most striking finding is as follows: some individuals, due to their genetic makeup, respond strongly to the effects of antidepressant drugs. Other individuals are less responsive without knowing this, thus mimicking a placebo group. Persons who are exposed to antidepressant drugs and are responsive, were found to be at higher risk of developing IA and ASAH than the placebo-like group. Next, the magnitude of effect of antidepressant drugs on IA and ASAH risk should be determined to assess the clinical utility of these findings.
This study underscores the importance of further research to understand the genetic underpinnings that might link certain drug responses to the risk of stroke, offering a new perspective on preventive strategies in stroke management.