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Health

Got a Migraine? Chronic Pain? Epilepsy? Try Viagra

DiscoblogBy Allison BondJune 27, 2009 9:04 PM
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The active ingredient in Viagra might hold information leading to new treatments for chronic pain, migraines, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy. Brain cells contain active enzymes that help produce nitric oxide, which gives the little blue pill its power, and scientists think this molecule might help brain cells pass signals to on another. BBC tells us:

Researcher Adam Tozer said: "This prompts the question 'Why is a molecule that can produce penile erections necessary in the brain? It is hoped that this research will go some way to solving the complexity of communication between brain cells, and therefore provide openings for therapeutic strategies against debilitating conditions. It will also help to shed light on communication in the healthy brain and this will enable a greater understanding of how we think." The Leicester team will focus on the junctions - or synapses - between cells that enable them to "talk" to each other. They will examine how nitric oxide can influence this communication.There is evidence to suggest that high levels of nitric oxide have a toxic effect, and may trigger serious brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust said: "It will be interesting to find out what nitric oxide does in the brain, and if it has any role in Alzheimer's."This study may help researchers understand how the brain works and how nerve cells communicate with each other. Understanding our thought processes and the brain is crucial to understanding and defeating diseases that affect it."

Still, we have to wonder about which possible side effects of treatment with nitric oxide might, er, pop up. Related Content: Discoblog: What Viagra? New Spray Increases Male Performance Time Discoblog: Men, Beware! Sketchy Sexual Performance Drugs Prove Fatal Discoblog: Erectile Dysfunction Could Signal a Heart Attack Image: flickr /

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