Drug resistant hypertension can be a killer, let alone a disease that makes life very difficult for its sufferers. There have been some serious attempts at controlling high blood pressure using methods other than drugs, but renal denervation, perhaps the most promising, failed to prove itself in a pivotal trial. Now we learn of a new technique recently unveiled by Valencia Technologies (Valencia, CA) that relies on placing tiny implants near the median nerves in the forearms. Previously it’s been known that median nerve stimulation by acupuncture can reduce blood pressure in some patients.
The implants are the size of a coin (narrower than a nickel, shorter in diameter than a quarter) are used to deliver a low power electric current to stimulate the median nerves. The procedure takes less than half an hour per arm and the device works automatically thereafter. Valencia is already testing the device in a clinical trial and 38 people with hypertension have already received the implant. There are promising initial results, but as with renal denervation, we’ll have to see how well the new Valencia implants work in larger studies.
Here’s a company video presenting the Subcutaneous Neuromodulation System (SNS):
Device info page: Subcutaneous Neuromodulation System (SNS)…