A new physiological approach to control essential hypertension

Author: Selvamurthy W//Sridharan K//Ray US//Tiwary RS////
Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, Timarpur, Delhi
Conference/Journal: Indian J Physiol Pharmacol
Date published: 1998
Other: Volume ID: 42 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 205-13 , Special Notes: Clinical Trial Controlled Clinical Trial , Word Count: 281

This study was conducted on 20 male patients of Essential Hypertension (EH) in order to explore the possible role of baroreflex mechanism in the etiology of EH and also to find out whether by restoration of baroreflex sensitivity to normal level either by postural tilt stimulus on a tilt table or by the equivalent yogic postural exercise (Yogic asanas), the EH could be cured or controlled. Patients on therapeutic regime were gradually withdrawn from drug therapy, and later divided into two groups of 10 each. Group-I (age 34 ± 1.7 years) was subjected to a 3 week course of 70 degrees head-up tilt for 30 min daily, while in group-II (age 50 ± 3.3 years), specific yogic exercises equivalent to head-up or head-down tilt were administered for the same duration. The progressive autonomic readjustments were assessed by a battery of tests including cardiovascular responses to head up tilt, cold pressor response at 4 degrees C water (CPR), alpha index of EEG (AI), level of blood catecholamines (CA) and plasma renin activity (PRA). At the end of 3 weeks, there was a significant reduction (P < 0.001) in blood pressure in both the groups. Progressive changes in BP and HR response to tilt during 3 weeks course of tilt and yogic exercise clearly indicated gradual improvement in baroreflex sensitivity. Likewise, changes in other indices like CPR, AI, CA and PRA indicated progressive attenuation of sypatho-adrenal and renin-angiotensin activity. All these changes together with the reduction in BP strongly suggest a close link between the etiology of EH and baroreflexes on the one hand and controlling influence of the latter on sympatho-adrenal and renin-angiotensin systems on the other. It also throws light on the physiological mechanism underlying the effects of selected yogic exercises in the treatment of EH.