Researchers compare treatment to acupuncture effect
By James Limbach, ConsumerAffairs.comNew research from the University of Cincinnati shows that a common, over-the-counter pain salve rubbed on the skin during a heart attack could prevent or reduce damage to the heart while treatment is administered.
Keith Jones, PhD, a researcher in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics, and scientists in his lab have found that applying capsaicin to specific skin locations in mice caused sensory nerves in the skin to trigger signals in the nervous system. These signals activate cellular "pro-survival" pathways in the heart, which protect the muscle.
Capsaicin is the main component of chili peppers and produces a hot sensation. It is also the active ingredient in several topical medications used for temporary pain relief.
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