Under Pressure Program

Part I, March 31, 2012

Georgetown University experts explained how high blood pressure damages blood vessels and causes strokes, heart failure, and kidney disease. 

Part II, November 17, 2012

The Center for Hypertension, Kidney, & Vascular Research hosted Under Pressure: Understanding How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Health, Part II, on Saturday, November 17th at 10am at the Georgetown University Conference Center. Georgetown University Medical Center research scientists explained new approaches to managing hypertension and preventing collateral damage to your kidneys and vascular system. 

Part III, November 23, 2013

It has long been recognized that hypertension is the major predictor of stroke, but the mechanisms are still poorly understood. High blood pressure causes stress in the blood vessels leading to the brain and this can cause a disastrous cerebral hemorrhage. However, more commonly, stroke is caused by a cerebral thrombosis or "mini strokes," a series of small areas of brain damage, some no larger than a pinhead. These mini strokes may go unnoticed by the patient, but over time, the damage to the brain can cause a loss of function, impaired cognitive ability and even dementia.

High blood pressure is also now understood to affect the brain in other ways.

Alzheimer’s disease is primarily a problem of the nerve cells. Yet, recent research has shown the progressive loss of cognitive ability in Alzheimer’s is strongly accelerated by hypertension. Moreover, the damaging protein produced in the nerve cells of Alzheimer’s patients can be taken up into the adjacent blood vessels and worsen the brain damage by diminishing the blood supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain tissue.

Click this link to learn what Georgetown is doing to understand these processes, develop novel drugs to treat patients at risk from stoke or dementia, and test the effectiveness of these therapies in clinical trials