There appears to be a link
between how the skin reacts when rubbed with chili
oil and what happens in the brain during a migraine. This fact is being dived
into by researchers at the world's largest biotechnology company, Amgen Inc. so
as to produce the debilitating headache's painful symptoms.
is a common form of headache where the pain
can be so severe that ones' daily activities can be hampered severely
. Migraine headaches are
thought to arise from enlargement of blood vessels and the release of chemicals
from nerve fibers surrounding them. Though a number of drugs are used to
relieve or prevent migraine headaches, none have been developed specifically
for the treatment of migraines.
Amgen and other biotechnology companies are trying
to develop a drug that blocks particular receptors in the brain from receiving 'pain
. They are targeting a chemical released during migraine; these
chemicals are associated with transmission of pain signals. Pain-signal transmission in migraine appears to be
similar to what happens when chili oil touches the skin. Capsaicin in chili
stimulates the release of proteins called calcitonin gene-related peptides, or
CGRP. CGRP causes an increase in blood flow to the affected area.
drug that can either block the concerned receptors in the brain or mop up the
CGRP itself can prevent migraine, believe researchers. So far no drug has
attained this advantage. Even the most effective drug that hit markets in the
halt migraines only once they begin. Many drugs such
as calcium channel blockers, anti-epileptics, anti-depressants have been tried
to prevent the attack of migraine in susceptible people (there appears to be
genetic characters that tag a person as vulnerable to migraine attacks). The
global community of physicians and millions of sufferers are anxiously waiting for
a wonder drug that is specific for migraine.
Two Amgen migraine drugs are currently undergoing
. New drugs, designated to a group called
biologics, have been tested by injecting them into patients with chili oil
spread on their skin. They were found to prevent the transmission of pain
signals. A successful drug that wins Food and Drug Administration approval
can bring more than $1 billion in sales in USA itself. Migraine is a very
common cause of headache throughout the world.