Head Games: Tricking High Blood Pressure

November 7, 2011

High blood pressure refers to the force blood pushes against artery walls, and just like too much pressure can damage a tire, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries. Therefore it can lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. (SOURCE: www.webmd.com)

CAUSES: For most adults, there is no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. Primary hypertension tends to develop over the years. As for secondary hypertension, this can be caused by other conditions as well as certain medications. (SOURCE : www.mayoclinic.com )

COMPLICATIONS: Some of the complications involved with hypertension can include: aneurysm, stroke, heart attack, vision loss, and trouble with memory or understanding. (www.mayoclinic.com)

TREATMENT: Ideally, lifestyle changes are one of the things suggested to treat high blood pressure. Changes can include quitting smoking or a healthier diet. However, resistant hypertension is blood pressure that is resistant to treatment.

Now, the Rheos system, an implantable hypertension device, is hoped to be the treatment for individuals that find lifestyle change and medication is just not enough to lower blood pressure.

APPLICATION: The purpose of the Rheos system is to trigger the body's own natural blood flow regulation system to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. This is done through a surgical procedure by implanting the device under the skin near the collar bone. The electrode is placed on the carotid artery and the lead runs under the skin and is connected to the device. The device works by electrically activating the body's sensors that regulate cardiovascular function. The signals are then sent through neural pathways to the brain therefore the brain sends signals to other parts of the body to treat blood pressure and heart failure.

(SOURCE : www.cvrx.com )


Domenic A. Sica, M.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System
(804) 828-2223

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