|Post Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Guillaume Paré’s Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory and Genetic Councilor at Hamilton General Hospital|
“One of the key aspects of what we do is look at heart attack and stroke through a genetic lens. When we test someone who has had a heart attack or stroke, and find a genetic culprit, there are implications not just for the patient but also for anyone related to that patient — most typically siblings or children. For instance, often patients may not understand why they had a stroke, or may feel guilty that it’s their own fault. But having a genetic explanation can often relieve some of that guilt. And it can help them move forward by taking preventive measures.
It’s important for families too. Genetics can give a really clear picture if children are at risk or not. And if we find that there is a risk, we may be able to reduce it. So we can actually prevent heart attack and stroke in the next generation by identifying the cause of it in a parent.”