High Blood Pressure? You Might Be Missing Key Cells

Scientists find cluster of cells that affect blood pressure

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 16, 2013 12:16 PM CST

(Newser) – If you have high blood pressure, you've probably always blamed it on those few extra pounds or all that bacon you indulge in—but a new study finds that hypertension may not be completely under your control. Scientists in Sweden discovered a group of nerve cells in the brains of mice that affect blood pressure as well as other cardiovascular activity—and can cause problems if they're missing, LiveScience reports.

Of course, the extra weight and the bacon are still factors, but if the same cell cluster exists in humans, researchers think it could lead to a new way of treating high blood pressure and other heart problems. Basically, the cells reside in part of the brain that helps regulate involuntary functions including blood pressure, and mice with thyroid hormone problems are missing the cells, which leads to high blood pressure and other problems. The next step: Scientists need to find out whether humans have the same cells.

  (Shutterstock)
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