High blood pressure is a huge global problem, and so the search is continually underway for new and effective ways to treat it.
It seems that two revolutionary new blood pressure treatments have recently been put forward, both of which involve relatively straightforward surgical procedures. These simple yet revolutionary findings could help reduce the incidence of the world’s biggest silent killer.
Tiny carotid body plays a big part in blood pressure
The first was discovered by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK. They found that blood pressure can be reduced simply by removing one of the tiniest organs in the body. The carotid body is a small nodule no bigger than a grain of rice and it’s found on the side of each carotid artery. It’s this tiny organ that appears to play a big part in the development and regulation of high blood pressure. Researchers found that after removing the carotid body from rodents with raised blood pressure, their blood pressure immediately fell and continued to remain low. Professor Paton, who led the research described the finding as “most exciting”
The carotid body normally acts to regulate oxygen and carbon-dioxide in the blood, and becomes stimulated when oxygen levels fall – which happens when you hold your breath. This causes an increase in breathing and blood pressure until blood oxygen levels are restored to normal. The response occurs due to the nervous connection between the brain and carotid body. Up until now however it was not realized just how direct the connection was between the carotid body and blood pressure.
Surgical procedure could be combat blood pressure
More recent research published in the Lancet indicates another way forward when it comes to blood pressure treatments. Carried out by the Monash University’s Center of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics, their study indicates that a new technique known as percutaneous renal sympathetic denervation could provide effective reduction in blood pressure for individuals who have been found resistant to other forms of blood pressure treatments.
The procedure involves disrupting the nerves around the kidney, those that send signals to the brain and kidneys to raise blood pressure. The technique was found to be safe for patients both in the short and long term. It was found to be effective in lowering the blood pressure of patients with hypertension for up to three years.
The procedure is carried out under local anesthetic, using radio energy frequency, directed to the targeted nerve area via catheter. Professor Krum, leading the research said “the procedure would save lives and improve quality of life for hypertension sufferers”.
With high blood pressure a blight millions of people worldwide these two new blood pressure treatments could cut deaths from the disease significantly. Taking control of and managing blood pressure is also in your own hands.
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