Could CHILLIS hold the key to curing migraines Scientists discover they hold clues to how the body deals with pain
There are similarities between what happens to brain during a migraine and how skin reacts to chilli oilWhen chilli touches the skin, it causes the release of a substance called CGRP, which increases blood flow Now hoped migraine drugs could be developed using same mechanism, to block pain signals
15:19 GMT, 23 April 2013
17:13 GMT, 23 April 2013
Chilli peppers are providing scientists with vital clues on how to cure migraines.
Research has found there are striking similarities between what happens in the brain during a migraine and the way skin reacts to having chilli oil rubbed into it.
Now, scientists are using the way the body deals with chilli to develop migraine drugs.
Research has found there are striking similarities between what happens in the brain during a migraine and the way skin reacts to having chilli oil rubbed into it
They found that when chilli oil touches the skin, the capsaicin in the
pepper causes the body to release calcitonin gene-related peptides, or CGRP, leading to an increase in blood flow to the affected area.
are now targeting a chemical released during a migraine that carries a 'pain' signal from nerve to nerve.
By blocking a nerve receptor from receiving
the message, these companies hope to develop drugs that prevent debilitating attacks.
One company developing a migraine drug is Amgen. To test the chilli theory, researchers injected the proposed drug under the skin
of patients who had chilli oil on their skin.
The drug blocked the
CGRP that causes increased blood flow.
Biotechnology companies are now targeting a chemical released during a migraine that carries a 'pain' signal from nerve to nerve
One theory is that migraines are caused by enlarged blood vessels.
And by blocking a receptor in the brain from
receiving the message, migraines could be avoided completely, Peter
Goadsby, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s
Headache Centre, told Bloomberg.
'What these antibody approaches hope to do is to either block the receptor or mop up the CGRP itself,' he said.
Despite being such a common problem, no drugs have been 'developed specifically for the treatment of migraines', Rob
Lenz, who is leading the migraine drug development for pharmaceutical company Amgen.
'They were developed as anti-epileptics, or blood pressure lowering agent,' he told the website.
Currently, the most widely used medication for migraines is triptans, which constrict blood vessels
in the brain to relieve swelling and pain. But these are only taken once migraines are in full swing.
Botox is also approved as a preventative treatment for migraines, though only for severe sufferers.
It is thought the new type of drug being developed would be for people who suffer migraines less often.