University of Bristol logoWith innumerable causes of high blood pressure, the illness continues to remain a high priority for investigations. Apparently experts from the University of Bristol suggested that the brain is involved in the development of high blood pressure. It has been assumed that the kidneys cause a reaction in the nervous system which may lead to high blood pressure. Astonishingly, the scientists seem to have completely avoided high blood pressure by blocking a signaling mechanism in the brainstem.

The scientific research revealed that the kidneys provoking a reaction in the nervous system may cause high blood pressure. This is possibly caused due to a disruption of blood flow to the kidneys, known as renovascular hypertension. The blood flow seems to be disturbed by either narrowing or obstruction of the blood vessels that supply the kidneys.

Julian Paton, Professor of Physiology at Bristol, shared, “This exciting research demonstrates that the kidney talks to the brain when it is starved of blood and oxygen. This conversation results in blood pressure to rise to levels sufficient to satisfy the kidney’s own needs but at the cost of inducing high blood pressure throughout the body.”

Renovascular hypertension has always been considered as the kidney’s reaction to disrupted blood flow. This in turn seems to activate hormone release from the kidneys further causing retention of body fluids and increasing blood pressure. It is assumed that this condition generates messages to the brain, which activate the sympathetic nervous system. This system is believed to make the heart beat harder, narrow blood vessels and elevate blood pressure.

Prof Paton commented, “If translatable to man, the results from this animal research should make clinicians think twice in their management and treatment of renovascular hypertension.”

Statistics claim high blood pressure as a major killer worldwide with every one person out of three affected at present. In fact the number of patients with this illness may rise to over 1.56 billion in 2025. The experts report that high blood pressure proves to be fatal for many patients with stroke, heart attacks or kidney failure.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, explained, “This careful, clever research adds further good evidence for the idea that high blood pressure is strongly controlled by the brain. The fact that the team was able to prevent high blood pressure in rats by blocking certain brain signals raises the hope that new treatments could work in the same way.”

Researchers have supposedly prevented high blood pressure by blocking a signaling mechanism in the brainstem. During restrictions in blood flow to the kidneys, this mechanism possibly leads to excessive sympathetic activity.

The research was published in the journal Hypertension.