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article imageControlling blood pressure with one shot

By Tim Sandle     May 27, 2015 in Science
A research group has developed a biochemical remedy for blood pressure. The drug is administered via single shot into a vein. Initial trials are promising.
High blood pressure (hypertension) means that your blood pressure is continually higher than the recommended level. The condition requires regular monitoring and is not always easily managed. The idea behind the drug, if proven to be successful, is that a single shot would biochemically help the body deal with hypertension for long periods of time. This could replace the need for people with high blood pressure to take daily medication.
The new drug focuses on a hormone called angiotensin II. According to Live Science, this hormone is involved with increasing blood pressure through causing blood vessels to constrict. The drug harnesses DNA in human cells to produce anti-angiotensin II antibodies. The cells, in effect, act like hormone-blocking biochemical factories.
Trials with the new drug have only been tried out in rats, although the results are promising. The drug provided protection to the rats for up to six months. The drug is some ways away from being used in people. With the current research, further work is needed on the regulation of the chemical produced that blocks the blood pressure triggering hormone.
The research into the new drug was conducted at Osaka University in Japan, under the supervision of Dr. Hironori Nakagami. The experimental findings have been documented in the research journal Hypertension. The research is titled "Long-Term Reduction of High Blood Pressure by Angiotensin II DNA Vaccine in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats."
In other blood-related news, scientists have used the new genome-editing tool CRISPR to alter cultured human endothelial cells. These cells were taken from blood vessels.
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