Blood Pressure Control - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/9/06

Blood Pressure Control

High blood pressure threatens millions of Americans.  It's a condition that can lead to stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and even death.

"I take six different medications, everything from beta blockers to alpha- blockers to diuretics," said Robert Reece who has high blood pressure.

Even with all that, Robert's blood pressure is still high, which is a common problem. But now, doctor Dominic Sica is investigating a new device.  Sort of a pacemaker that controls blood pressure. The device is implanted in the chest and attaches to two electrodes in the carotid arteries. It tells the nerves in those arteries to trick the brain into thinking blood pressure is higher than it really is.

"The brain, in turn says, well, gee, I'll turn off my signaling to the rest of the body, and that will lower blood pressure," said Doctor Domenic Sica, a Nephrologist at VCU school of medicine in Richmond.

"It works for me. It's been very effective. It will probably prolong my life," Reece.

The device is permanent but it runs on a battery that can last up to twenty months. Five centers are testing the blood pressure device in the US right now. These are located in VA Hospital in Rochester, New York, The University of Virginia Common Wealth in Richmond, VA. Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

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