Benjamin Holloway, B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally as well as in the United States. A key risk factor, hypertension, is prevalent in nearly 1 in 3 US adults. Lowering blood pressure in hypertensive individuals greatly reduces risk of CVD, however, many hypertensive individuals go untreated or do not respond to treatment. In nearly 95% of cases the underlying cause of hypertension is unknown. In most cases of hypertension, activity of the sympathetic nervous system is elevated, and decreasing this activity lowers blood pressure. Therefore, we aim to understand how the brain regulates the sympathetic nervous system and resting blood pressure.