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Every day brings us closer to finding a cure for cardiovascular disease - New Zealand's number one killer. Here is the latest from our research laboratories.
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Meet the team: Dr Melissa Farnham

Meet the team: Dr Melissa Farnham

Born and raised in Nevada, USA, Dr Melissa Farnham originally had no interest in research. Now Unit Leader of the High Blood Pressure Group at HRI, and balancing the challenges of family and work, she couldn’t imagine any other career path.

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Heart screen could protect hundreds from stroke

Heart screen could protect hundreds from stroke

Testing Māori and Pacific people for an irregular heartbeat earlier could spare hundreds of people from stroke each year, a collaboration between University of Auckland researchers and the Heart Research Institute in Sydney has found. The research reveals for the first time that Māori and Pacific people develop an irregular heartbeat – a key risk factor for stroke – a decade earlier than other New Zealanders.

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New drug hope to target silent killer

New drug hope to target silent killer

An exciting new treatment for very high blood pressure is on the horizon after a world-first discovery by Heart Research Institute scientists, who have uncovered a brain chemical instrumental in triggering hypertension, the so-called silent killer responsible for the deaths of thousands of Australians each year.

The researchers are optimistic the results, published this week in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, will ultimately lead to a powerful new treatment that blocks a neurotransmitter and frees patients from the dangers of hypertension. 

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Meet the team: Zohra Kakall

Meet the team: Zohra Kakall

PhD student Zohra Kakall has always been fascinated by whole body physiology and the integration between the brain and other bodily systems. This fascination drew her to the HRI High Blood Pressure Group - which focuses on the way that brain networks control airways, breathing and blood pressure - and led her on a research trip across Europe.

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Could too much sitting be bad for our brains?

Could too much sitting be bad for our brains?
The brain is a glucose hungry organ. It weighs about 2% of body mass but demands about 20% of our resting energy requirements, which is mostly in the form of glucose, the primary brain fuel. If this energy supply is disrupted it can impair and even damage brain cells. Therefore, the availability of glucose to brain cells may have implications for brain health.
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