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Researchers prepare for new blood pressure treatment study

Category: General Wellness

Researchers at Baylor Health Care System plan to conduct a study that will test the effects of renal denervation on high blood pressure. Renal denervation is a surgical procedure in which heat produced from radio frequencies decreases the activity of the central nervous system by reducing nerve communication with the kidneys, which can cause high blood pressure.

"The sympathetic nervous system controls blood pressure and can cause hypertension initiated by life and stress," said research author David L. Brown, M.D. "This investigational device is being tested to determine if it will disrupt the sympathetic nervous system, which may significantly lower blood pressure, stop multiple antihypertensive medications, and have an effect on other conditions affected by the sympathetic nervous system."

The study will be comprised of participants who have systolic blood pressure over 160 and currently take three to five different blood pressure medications, but are still unable to bring their blood pressure down to healthy levels. One group of the participants will receive the renal denervation surgery while the other will act as a control, but only the study investigators will know who belongs to which group.

Study author Sonia Prashar, M.S., CCRC, of the Heart Hospital, reported that studies in the past have shown that the renal derivation has been effective in lowering blood pressure.

High blood pressure facts
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults. Many times there are no signs of hypertension, but it can be detrimental to the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. Also, the source reports, high blood pressure can negatively impact cholesterol levels, which can be gauged with a cholesterol test.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that people get their blood pressure tested by their healthcare provider every two years once they turn 18 years old.

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