The sympathetic nervous system plays a pivotal role in the long-term regulation of arterial blood pressure through the ability of the central nervous system to integrate neurohumoral signals and differentially regulate sympathetic neural input to specific end organs. Part 1 of this review will discuss neural mechanisms of salt-sensitive hypertension, obesity-induced hypertension, and the ability of prior experiences to sensitize autonomic networks. Part 2 of this review focuses on new therapeutic advances to treat resistant hypertension including renal denervation and carotid baroactivation. Both advances lower arterial blood pressure by reducing sympathetic outflow. We discuss potential mechanisms and areas of future investigation to target the sympathetic nervous system.
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