Research Interests

Dr. Vongpatanasin's research interest is in the area of neural control of blood pressure and the influence of various hormones and antihypertensive agents on the autonomic control of blood pressure in humans. Her laboratory has performed autonomic studies in both normal healthy subjects and patients with hypertension or autonomic dysfunction.

Current Clinical Trials

Preventing Hypertension and Sympathetic Overactivation by Targeting Phosphate (PHOSTOP trial).

An increasing number of studies have indicated that most fast food and common grocery items contain a large amount of inorganic phosphate-based food additives, which are highly absorbable. The long-term cardiovascular consequences of a high phosphate diet are unknown but the existing database implicates phosphate excess as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events in individuals with and without chronic kidney diseases (CKD). High phosphate consumption clearly induces BP elevation in rats with normal kidneys. However, the mechanisms underlying phosphate-induced hypertension and the relevance of these rodent studies to human hypertension have not been determined. We seek to investigate the role of high phosphate diet in human hypertension and assess the effect of high phosphate diet on muscle sympathetic nerve activity and the exercise pressor reflex.

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Hypertension, Intracranial Pulsatility and Brain Amyloid-beta Accumulation in Older Adults (HIPAC Trial)

The aim of this study is to determine if lowering blood pressure using FDA approved medication (antihypertensive drugs) alters brain pulsatility and reduces brain amyloid beta protein accumulation in older adults. Amyloid beta protein is high in the brain of older adults with Alzheimer's disease. Hypertension may increase brain amyloid beta protein accumulation and affect memory and thinking ability in older adults. However, whether lowering blood pressure reduces brain amyloid beta protein and improves brain function is inconclusive.

The investigators hypothesize that treating high blood pressure alters brain pulsatility, which in turn reduces brain amyloid beta protein accumulation and improves brain structure and function.

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