Hypertension traced to source in brain, triggering new paradigm for hypertension treatment.
When the heart works too hard, the brain may be to blame, says new Cornell research that is changing how scientists look at high blood pressure (hypertension). The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in November, traces hypertension to a newfound cellular source in the brain and shows that treatments targeting this area can reverse the disease.
In what peer reviewers are calling “a new paradigm” for tackling the worldwide hypertension epidemic, this insight into its roots could give hope to the billion people it currently afflicts. Hypertension occurs when the force of blood against vessel walls grows strong enough to potentially cause such problems as heart attack, stroke and heart or kidney disease. The heart pumps harder, and often the hormone angiotensin-II (AngII) gets the pressure cooking by triggering nerve cells that constrict blood vessels.