Breakthrough in blood pressure control - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Breakthrough in blood pressure control

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This is still under study, but what a breakthrough for the millions with high blood pressure if it continues to show success.

Tim Shockley volunteered to be the first to test this new device, after his high blood pressure began to affect his vision. Amazingly, it's a solution that doesn't call for drugs. Instead, the device is called the barostim neo, and it's kind of like a pacemaker implanted under the collarbone that sends electrical signals through a wire that is connected to the carotid artery in the neck.

"We've known for a time that this area of the artery controls blood pressure. When the brain gets this signal, what it does is crank down that fight or flight response and basically tells your body to relax that will in turn decrease your blood pressure," says surgeon Dr. Karen Woo.

Tim got the implant in May. Researchers continue to turn up the stimulation very gradually, to ease him in. But, already it is starting to lower his blood pressure. So, it may prove to be an option someday that would allow people to get rid of their blood pressure medication.

But, time will tell, and again, this is experimental.

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