New advances on hypertension

Researchers at the University of Bristol say that they've found a protein--JAM-1--in the walls of the blood vessels in the brain that may be directly linked to high blood pressure. The protein traps white blood cells, a process that can lead to inflammation and obstruct blood flow. And that has led the researchers to the novel conclusion that high blood pressure could be a vascular disease of the brain. About six of every 10 patients being treated for high blood pressure remain hypertensive, leading researchers to scramble for new drug targets to treat the disease.

"We are looking at the possibility of treating those patients that fail to respond to conventional therapy for hypertension with drugs that reduce blood vessel inflammation and increase blood flow within the brain," said team leader Professor Julian Paton. "The future challenge will be to understand the type of inflammation within the vessels in the brain, so that we know what drug to use, and how to target them. JAM-1 could provide us with new clues as to how to deal with this disease."

- check out the release on the findings