Published on : May 09, 2014
To people suffering from those extremely complex cases of high BP - which do not get treated even with the most effective medications in the market - a new implantable device, assumed to hit markets soon, may finally bring some relief.
The new device, which has been developed by German scientists and is currently in its clinical trails’ stage, is said to work its way reducing BP by sending electrical signals to the brain.
The clinical trials done on laboratory rats using this device resulted in a reduction of blood pressure by almost 40% without any side effects.
If the medicine turns out to be equally effective for human beings, it would offer significant hope to all those patients who do not benefit from any current medication for blood pressure.
The device is an intelligent design made from integrated circuits that record various activities of the patient, such as when the patient is exercising, for instance, and adjusts BP accordingly.
The design is made up of 24 individual electrodes integrated in a micro-machined cuff-like structure. The device is designed to be wrapped around the vagal nerve, which supplies blood and stimulates major organs of the body including major blood vessels and the heart.
When blood vessels stretch, specific sensors called baroreceptors are activated in our body. The device in discussion here picks up signals from these sensors to adjust the BP. Baroreceptors are known to have control on short-term fluctuations in the blood pressure.
When tested on lab mice, the use of this device had no significant side effects such as notable decrease in heart rate or breathing rate. The design is also intelligent in the sense that it identifies only those baroreceptor fibres that are responsible for controlling blood pressure and avoids signals that come from fibers controlling heart rate, ventilation, power of heart beat and other vital functions.
The researchers, however, note that as the device requires surgery for planting it in the body, it would help patients only when they are resistant to the medicines, for whatever reason possible.