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Zapping Kidney Nerves Lowers Stubborn High Blood Pressure

New Device Helps People With Drug-Resistant Hypertension

Unanswered Questions

"These are much bigger effects than you would anticipate if a new drug was being tested, particularly in people who are resistant to drugs anyway," Esler tells WebMD.

There were no serious complications during the six months of the study.

Oparil says "while exciting," the study leaves many unanswered questions. Among them: how long the procedure keeps blood pressure in check, whether it will work in people who aren't white and in people with diabetes or lower blood pressures, and whether it is cost-effective, she says.

The device is already available in Europe, where it costs about $12,000 to $13,000, Esler says. A U.S. study is scheduled to start next year.

Asked if we can cure hypertension, he says, "That's a big task [and] probably still a dream. But at least we have a device moving in that direction."

Ardian Inc., which makes the device, funded the study.

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