A new brain treatment may effectively reduce high blood pressure. When trying to minimize pain in certain patients, doctors noticed that using deep brain stimulation typically lowered high blood pressure.
Deep brain stimulation is the process of electrically pulsing the brain. This can be done with an external machine or with an implant.
Based on these findings, experts believe this tool can be used effectively to treat hypertension that may be resistant to drugs, and also play a pivotal role in learning about how the brain affects blood pressure as well.
The entire study can be found in the journal Neurology.
Doctors say that nearly 10 percent of individuals with high blood pressure either cannot physically tolerate medications for the condition, or the medication does not affect them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain about three of every ten American adults has high blood pressure, raising the risks of heart disease.
For the study, one man was evaluated using a brain stimulator implant. Even while taking four separate medications for high blood pressure, his blood pressure still would not come down.
The stimulator created enough of a decrease in blood pressure that the man could stop taking all medications. Consequently, turning the stimulator off caused a rise in blood pressure.
While the benefits may exist, many experts are skeptical. Not only is this just one case, but the stimulation procedure has many potential dangers.