New York : In a finding that has implications for the treatment of hypertension, researchers have identified what they believe is the ‘master switch’ that regulates blood pressure.
The ‘master switch’ is a mechanism by which a protein complex in the kidney controls the rise or fall of blood pressure, according to a paper published in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University liken the switch to a rheostat that modulates the balance of salt and potassium in the kidney, thereby raising or lowering blood pressure.
When the switch malfunctions, high blood pressure or hypertension occurs, the researchers suggest.
Hypertension affects millions around the world and is a major cause of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. The root cause is unknown in 95 percent cases.
If the study’s conclusions are borne out by further research, they can lead to better targeted and more effective drugs for the disease.