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Blood Pressure Device

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At the age of 39, Orlando Ramirez has already had one heart attack. Doctors couldn't get his blood pressure under control, despite giving him six different medications.

"It was ridiculously high. Anywhere 200 over 187. I was taking my medication doing my diet, doing my exercise, the blood pressure was still high and this was weeks after I was released from the hospital."

His doctor enrolled him in an experiment at New York Presbyterian Hospital for a new device called the simplicity renal denervation system. It targets the nerve pathways between the kidneys and the brain.

"In populations of patients with very high blood pressures, those pathways are overactive so what happens is the brain sends the kidneys the wrong message to keep the blood pressure high despite the blood pressure already being elevated," says Dr. Dmitriy Feldman.

Doctors insert the device through a small catheter and it sends a radio signal that deactivates the nerves and prevents the wrong messages from being sent.

New York Presbyterian Hospital is one of nearly 90 sites in the U.S. taking part in the study.  Patients do not know if they received the device or if they are in the control group.

Ramirez's blood pressure readings are lower than they were before the trial started. He has no doubt which group he is in.

"The procedure and the medication, combined and the diet. It's definitely working."

The study is halfway complete. Preliminary results could come later this year.

Thirty percent of hypertension patients have high blood pressure that's resistant to medication.

The study is still recruiting patients. To find out which hospitals in your area participate, log onto the following website http://1.usa.gov/1171PYN

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