Brazilian researchers have simultaneously demonstrated the mechanism linking high blood pressure to elevated intracranial pressure, validated a non-invasive intracranial pressure monitoring method, and proposed treatment for high blood pressure that does not affect intracranial hypertension.
The study was supported by FAPESP and involved collaboration between researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP) and Brain4care, a startup based in São Carlos. It could result in novel treatments for intracranial hypertension and its complications, including stroke. The main findings are reported in the journal Hypertension.
The researchers monitored blood pressure and intracranial pressure in rats for six weeks. “We set out to investigate what happened to intracranial pressure during the period in which the animals were becoming hypertensive. We were the first to succeed in monitoring this process non-invasively, tracking changes in the shape of the intracranial pressure curve. Our study suggests that intracranial hypertension can be prevented if diagnosed early and treated with losartan, a drug widely used by patients with high blood pressure. It blocks the action of angiotensin II [a naturally occurring peptide that can cause vasoconstriction and an increase in blood pressure], which we also show to be important to control intracranial pressure,” said Eduardo Colombari, principal investigator for the study. Colombari is a professor at UNESP’s Dental School in Araraquara (FOAr).