For people with hard-to-control blood pressure, a new implantable device shows promise, researchers report.

The device, surgically placed just below the collarbone, sends a 4- to 6-volt electrical jolt to the carotid arteries to lower blood pressure through a process known as baroreflex activation therapy.

The researchers presented their findings at the meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

"People with resistant hypertension -- high blood pressure that doesn't respond to multi-drug therapy and lifestyle changes -- are a growing group, and they're in desperate need of additional treatments," study lead author Dr. John D. Bisognano of the University of Rochester said.

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"This system is safe, and its effect is as good as two or three drugs for people who are already taking five or six drugs and still can't control their hypertension," said Bisognano, who is a consultant for CVRx Inc., the device's maker.

The pulses generated by the device trick the body into thinking that blood pressure has spiked. In response, the body sends out regulators that cause blood pressure to fall, the researchers explained. -- HealthDay