by Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new approach to treating high blood pressure.  A third of American adults have high blood pressure.  And it can be hard to treat, medications don’t work for 30 percent of patients.  3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on how local doctors are testing a device they hope will be more effective than traditional drugs.

Orlando Ramirez has already had one heart attack.  Doctors couldn’t get his blood pressure under control, despite giving him six different medications.

“Doing my diet, doing my exercise, the blood pressure was still high,” said Orlando.  So his doctor decided to have him test a new device called the Symplicity 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,” said Dr. Dmitriy Feldman, a Cardiologist.

Doctors insert the device through a small catheter.  It radio-frequency signals to de-activate the nerves and prevent the wrong messages from being sent.

Patients in the study don’t know if they received the new treatment, but since Orlando’s blood pressure readings are lower, he thinks he did.

“The procedure and the medication, combined and the diet.  It’s definitely working,” said Orlando.

Local hospitals are testing the device.

Even though the study is halfway complete, they’re still looking for patients to participate.

For more information, simply click the following link:

Blood Pressure Treatment Study Information

Stephanie Stahl