Genetic Studies Reveals New Clues to Hereditary High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. We know that half the risk of developing high blood pressure is due to inherited factors, but until recently we only understood two percent of the genetic reasons for that risk.

But researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are now a step closer to understanding the genetic underpinnings of high blood pressure after two multi-institutional studies identified 44 new gene sites associated with the condition.

The findings suggest that new treatments targeting factors other than salt excretion—the typical strategy for controlling high blood pressure—could help with the condition. Christopher Newton-Cheh, MD, MPH, was senior author of the two studies that reported these findings.

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Study Suggests How “Super Aging” Older Adults Retain Youthful Memory Abilities

Some loss of memory is often considered an inevitable part of aging, but new research reveals how some people appear to escape that fate. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators examines a remarkable group of older adults whose memory performance is equivalent to that of younger individuals and finds that certain key areas of their brains resemble those of young people.

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Mass General Team Works to Find Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Global Neurological Care

By Alyssa Gocinski
Research Institute Intern

In addition to seeing neurology patients here at Massachusetts General Hospital, Farrah J. Mateen, MD, PhD, (below, second from left) is committed to finding innovative solutions to neurological health challenges in resource-limited settings worldwide.

In a recent interview, Mateen explained that many of the countries that she works with lack practicing neurologists and do not have the resources to provide a Western standard of medical care, so innovative solutions must be found that blend affordability and accessibility. Mobile technology and out-of-the-box thinking play a key role in her
work.

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In the Bhutan, for example, Mateen has been testing a smartphone-based EEG cap that can be used to provide a remote diagnosis of epilepsy. This study, called The Bhutan Epilepsy Project, may revolutionize neurological care in one of the last countries in the
world with a 90% rural population.

In Africa, Mateen has launched two more creatively designed research projects that seek to improve care for patients with neurological issues.  Continue reading “Mass General Team Works to Find Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Global Neurological Care”