Thursday, November 16, 2017

New blood-pressure guidelines; human stem cells heal rats' spinal injuries

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:53 PM


Get (that blood pressure) down!
Stark new recommendations about optimal blood pressure may have many reaching for a home monitor to see if they're at risk for complications like heart attack and stroke, in a story also reported on Inlander.com, via the New York Times.

Previously, blood pressure was considered high if it 
click to enlarge blood_pressure.jpg
topped out over 140/90 mm  Hg, but that's no longer the case. Now people with blood-pressure readings of 130-139/80-89 mm Hg will be considered to have high blood pressure. The American Heart Association announced the new guidelines in a statement this week, noting the dangers of blood pressure higher than 130/80.

“We want to be straight with people — if you already have a doubling of risk, you need to know about it. It doesn’t mean you need medication, but it’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches," said the guideline's lead author.

Here are the new categories:
Normal: Less than 120 mm Hg for systolic and 80 mm Hg for diastolic.
Elevated: Between 120-129 for systolic, and less than 80 for diastolic.
Stage 1 hypertension: Between 130-139 for systolic or between 80-89 for diastolic.
Stage 2 hypertension: At least 140 for systolic or at least 90 mm Hg for diastolic.

Learn about how, and why, to lower your blood pressure from our InHealth archives:


Healing spinal-cord injury
Paraplegic rats regained the ability to walk and sensation was restored in their hindquarters after Israeli scientists implanted human stem cells along their severed spinal cords, according to research published this week. The stem cells were obtained from the mouths of human donors:

"Three weeks after introduction of the stem cells, 42 percent of the implanted paraplegic rats showed a markedly improved ability to support weight on their hind limbs and walk. 75 percent of the treated rats also responded to gross stimuli to the hind limbs and tail. In contrast, control paraplegic rats that did not receive stem cells showed no improved mobility or sensory responses," says the study's lead researcher.

Research is ongoing to determine why some rats didn't respond: "Although there is still some way to go before it can be applied in humans, this research gives hope."
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