You wouldn’t think that a blood pressure score of 320/150 mmHg was even possible, let alone that a person with such a score survived for long.
However, scientists in Bristol found sufferers in just this position, and discovered a cure for them – even when their high blood pressure was un-responsive to other treatments.
Best of all, they used a therapy that was drug-free and safe. If it works for blood pressure over 320/150, it will work for you!
University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, together with a North Bristol NHS Trust neurosurgeon Mr. Nik Patel, used a procedure called deep brain stimulation, a treatment more commonly used on people with Parkinson’s disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The neurostimulator works a bit like a pacemaker by sending electrical impulses through the wire and the electrode straight to the targeted area in the brain.
In people with Parkinson’s disease, these electrical impulses block the electrical signals in specific areas of the brain that cause the neurological symptoms of the disease like tremors, difficulty moving, and so forth.
Compared to most other neurosurgical procedures, the great advantage is that the effects are completely reversible. All researchers need to do is to remove the device.
The Bristol researchers employed this treatment on sufferers with catastrophically high blood pressure with good success.
After two years of treatment, one subject’s blood pressure, whose systolic started at 320 mm/Hg, came down over 150 points.
In theory, if scientists can identify the area of your brain responsible for your disease or its symptoms, they can target it with deep brain stimulation.
The main thing I take from this study, however, is yet more proof that high blood pressure is always caused by some kind of stress – and that stress can be managed by your brain.