Drug protects against fatality from extreme heat

January 9th, 2012 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 9 (IANS) Help could be on the way for players or soldiers who are exposed to the risk of extreme heat sensitivity during practice sessions, thanks to a new discovery.

A genetic mutation named as RyR1 has been implicated in such fatalities which could be counteracted by a new compound known as AICAR — identified by scientists from the Salk Institute and described as “exercise in a pill”.

“When we gave AICAR to the (heat-sensitive) mice, it was 100 percent effective in preventing heat-induced deaths, even when we gave it no more than 10 minutes before the activity,” said Susan Hamilton, the journal Nature Medicine reports.

Hamilton, who led the study, is professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at the Baylor College of Medicine, according to a Baylor statement.

The finding has implications for young athletes and soldiers with abnormal heat sensitivity, especially those who must wear heavy gear that does not allow them to dissipate the heat generated with exercise.

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