Can Your Brain Control Your Blood Pressure?

Released: 11-Jan-2008 1:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: University of Kentucky
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only

Newswise — It is a health concern that tens of thousands of Kentuckians battle every day-- the struggle to keep their blood pressure in check. Oftentimes, it involves numerous medications and lifestyle changes. In some cases even that combination is not enough, and patients are faced with potentially life-ending consequences. The struggles are real for many people across the Commonwealth. That is why a FDA-approved clinical trial at the UK College of Medicine is so important.

Surgeons recently implanted the RheosR System into the first clinical trial patient. When the device was turned on, the patient's blood pressure measurements significantly decreased. The patient reported no discomfort.

The device is designed to reduce blood pressure by using small electrical signals to influence the body's blood pressure regulation system, called the baroreflex. The Rheos System is a pacemaker-like device that is implanted under the skin in the upper chest cavity and connected to two leads that are placed on the carotid arteries.

UK cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Sibu Saha is one of the trial's primary investigators. "Hypertension is a silent killer and a major risk factor for stroke. I see its effects on patients every day. The Rheos device has shown promise in managing what was previously uncontrolled hypertension. I am pleased to be a part of this landmark trial," said Saha.

UK is one of only 24 medical centers participating in the trial and the only one in Kentucky. Patients will be monitored during a 5-year time period. The purpose of the UK trial is to assess safety, efficacy, and device performance.

High blood pressure affects about 72 million people in the United States.


Comment/Share