New research by the University of Edinburgh in the UK revealed that combining a simple blood test with a standard brain scan could aid in the prediction of stroke.

As per the researchers, the combination provides the genetic information that could potentially identify patients who are at a high risk of a second stroke.

The technique is expected to help in the better management of strokes caused by intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).

During the research, blood test and brain scan images were used to detect cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) that could cause ICH and is associated with a higher risk of further strokes and dementia.

“The combination of routine CT scanning with APOE gene testing can identify those whose ICH has been caused by CAA.”

The researchers used the computed tomography (CT) scans from more than 100 patients who died due to their first ICH, and tested the blood samples for a CAA-linked gene called APOE.

University of Edinburgh Wellcome Trust clinical PhD programme fellow Dr Mark Rodrigues said: “Identifying the cause of a brain haemorrhage is important to planning patient care.

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“Our findings suggest that the combination of routine CT scanning with APOE gene testing can identify those whose ICH has been caused by CAA – a group who may be more at risk of another ICH or dementia.”

It was found that the combination approach can accurately pinpoint if an ICH had been caused by CAA, and is anticipated to allow improved ICH diagnosis in developing countries.