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Biotech Science

Brain Connection To Hypertension? 92

Posted by kdawson
from the under-pressure dept.
The possibility that one cause of high blood pressure lies within the brain, and not the heart or blood vessels, has been put forward by scientists at the University of Bristol, UK. A research group there found a novel role for a protein called JAM-1, located in the walls of blood vessels in the brain. JAM-1 traps white blood cells, which can then cause inflammation and may obstruct blood flow, resulting in poor oxygen supply to the brain. The article notes that the idea that hypertension is an inflammatory vascular disease of the brain is somewhat controversial.
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Brain Connection To Hypertension?

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  • JAM-1 behavior (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ushering05401 (1086795) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:40AM (#18748091) Journal
    What would the benefit of trapping white blood cells be? TFA refers to the discovery of a 'novel' role for the protein...

    Is it possible that this is unintended behavior on the part of the protein or does the behavior serve some purpose?
  • by geschild (43455) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:50AM (#18748137) Homepage

    Not too long ago a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicobacter_pylori [wikipedia.org] was a similarly 'radical' concept. We know how that ended up changing things with regard to the treatment of ulcers.

    What I'm interested in is if there's a link with migraines. Hypertension medication is quite often helpfull in preventing or modulating migraine attacks in severe sufferers. The underlying mechanisms of migraines are not fully known and what mechanisms are known, are poorly understood. There seems to be concensus that it involves a chemical inflamation proces of arteries in the skull, though and if this proposition holds, that might explain how these medications work for migraines, too.

  • makes sense (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Blue Shifted (1078715) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:54AM (#18748151) Journal

    the idea that hypertension is an inflammatory vascular disease of the brain is somewhat controversial.


    aspirin is an anti-inflamatory...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:36AM (#18748281)
    I don't have a stressful job and I eat healthy and take lots of walks to and from work (and on my lunch break too) but I got something called Conns syndrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conns_Syndrome [wikipedia.org]
    Even with my pills I barely (most of the time I dont) get below 140/90. There are so many reasons why someone has high blood pressure but stressful living isnt a sure way to get it nor is a relaxed living a sure way not to have it.
  • Re:Also (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SpecTheIntro (951219) <spectheintro@POL ... om minus painter> on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:17AM (#18749395)

    If you mean someone who thinks that the modern theory of evolution is the best available explanation for the facts observed, the word you're looking for is "scientist".

    Oh really? So a physics professor can't be skeptical of evolution and still be considered a "scientist?" I didn't realize the criteria for science was: "must improperly and broadly apply Darwin's theory of natural selection to human origins." Darwin wrote two major works: The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. The first one describes the theory of natural selection, and it is actually quite limited in its scope: Darwin doesn't make any vast or overarching claims in the work. The Descent of Man, on the other hand, is virulently racist and offers little to no rigorous study. Most people's ideas about evolution come from The Descent of Man, whether they know it or not. It is the basis for the Social Darwinism and other ridiculous interpretations of evolutionary theory.

    Just like the opposite of a "faith healer" isn't a "faithless healer", but a "doctor".

    Now you just sound stupid. What about Chinese medicine, or holistic methods? They're not "faith healers" but they're certainly not M.D.s.

  • Re:Duh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NIckGorton (974753) on Monday April 16, 2007 @02:30PM (#18754453)
    I volunteer at a hippy clinic in San Francisco 2 days a week where I treat a disproportionately hippy population. And among this hippy population I have a number of thin, vegan, yoga-types who have: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, etc. Making good choices is part of the battle, but unfortunately you can't choose your parents.

    The one thing I will say is that hippies with hypertension are much less likely to have well controlled hypertension. They are much more likely to insist that if they do X more yoga or eat Y more fiber they can get their BP under control. Unfortunately thats usually not possible. So they refuse to take old, safe, cheap medicines like atenolol because they see their hypertension as a personal failure.

    Take medicines when they are necessary and helpful, but not when they aren't either. My best rule of thumb is that you are allowed one chronic medicine for every decade you are old - if you are taking more than that without good reason (like having HIV, heart failure, etc), you probably need to prune the medicines bush a bit.

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