Current studies on new ways to lower blood pressure

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Current studies on new ways to lower blood pressure

Researchers are looking into new treatments for people whose numbers can’t be brought under control with medications or who would like an alternative to the current treatments

Blood pressure medications don’t always bring peoples’ blood pressure down to their target numbers. This is sometimes due to resistant hypertension, where blood pressure can’t be lowered to 140mmHg with optimal doses of multiple medications, and sometimes due to people not taking their medications as prescribed, often because the side effects are too much to live with.

To solve the problem, researchers are looking into alternatives to the usual medications.


This study is testing a procedure called renal denervation. Renal denervation aims to reduce activity the nerves around the arteries leading to the kidneys, as these nerves are involved in blood pressure control and tend to be overactive in people with high blood pressure. In the procedure, a narrow catheter or wire is passed through an artery in the groin into the artery leading to the kidney. The catheter is then used to treat the tissue around the artery with ultrasonic energy, and this calms the activity in the nerves.

If you are interested in taking part

The study is open to people from age 18-75 with high blood blood-pressure, whether or not you’re taking medications, and people with controlled blood pressure but would like to try an alternative to medications. There are hospitals taking part across the south of England, any expenses will be covered and if you need to stay overnight accommodation will be provided, and you will need to be willing to have your blood pressure checked for the next three years. Find out more by visiting 

The CALM trials  

The Calm trials are privately funded studies looking at a small implant, The MobiusHD® device, which is implanted inside part of the carotid artery in the neck called the carotid sinus. The device causes the baroreceptors, which are in the walls of the artery, to increase their signals to the brain. Upon receipt of these amplified signals, the brain perceives blood pressure to be much higher than it actually is. In response, the brain signals the peripheral vascular system (the arteries and veins in the arms and legs) to dilate the blood vessels and thereby reduce blood pressure.

If you are interested in taking part

The trial is open to adults aged 18 and 80 with resistant hypertension that is not adequately controlled by three of more medicines. There are trials taking place in London, Manchester and Glasgow and you may need to stay in hospital for up to 24 hours and be willing to go to visits before and after the implant is fitted. Your travel expenses will be covered.

Find out more and if you could take part at and click on ‘I am a patient’.

Read more 

Find out more about clinical trials from NHS Choices.

Read more about what's being done to tackle resistant hypertension and unwanted side effects: in the Winter 2017 issue of our magazine, Positive Pressure, Dr Manish Saxena will explain his research exploring ways of tackling high blood pressure which can’t be controlled by the usual medications or the medications are causing too many side effects. Become a Blood Pressure UK member to receive your copy of Positive Pressure at 

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