Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study May Cough Up New Treatment For A Tickly Throat

Date:
July 8, 2009
Source:
British Pharmacological Society
Summary:
Scientists investigating the cough reflex have discovered a new group of molecules on the surface of nerve cells that make us cough when irritated.

Scientists investigating the cough reflex have discovered a new group of molecules on the surface of nerve cells that make us cough when irritated.

Related Articles


The findings, to be presented at the British Pharmacological Society’s Summer Meeting in Edinburgh the week of July 6, could lead to new drugs to treat cough, which when chronic affects about 10% of the UK population.

“Cough is the commonest symptom for which medical advice is sought and accounts for over half of new patient consultations to a GP,” said Professor Alyn Morice, a Clinical Pharmacologist at the University of Hull, who is leading the research.

“Chronic cough can be socially isolating and disabling and people come from all over Europe to my cough clinic because the cough is ruining their lives, yet current treatment options are limited with remedies little better than honey and lemon.”

Professor Morice and his team at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull have identified a group of protein molecules called receptors that sit on the surface of nerve cells and allow signals to be passed inside nerve cells.

The team have shown that the ‘very cold’ receptor (TRPA1) on nerve cells is stimulated by a cinnamon extract in normal volunteers, leading them to cough. Furthermore, the researchers have successfully cloned the TRPA1 receptor to allow them to investigate the pharmacology of these nerve endings.

“The receptor which has had the most drug development focused on it is the hot receptor TRPV1 , which is stimulated by capsaicin, the extract of chilli peppers, where a number of companies have produced potential drugs to block the receptor and have taken them as far as the clinic,” said Professor Morice.

“Unfortunately, in this particular receptor’s case it seems that blocking the receptor led to patients developing a higher body temperature and they were also less capable of feeling heat, which of course could be dangerous, so much of the development has stopped.

“The TRPA1 receptor that we have identified as a cough receptor and recently cloned is more interesting because it is set off by a much wider range of substances. However, once the results are published it will probably take up to five years for drug companies to develop blockers as far as the clinic.”

Professor Morice’s team have just begun a large-scale patient study that will try to identify existing blocking agents for this new family of receptors, although the ultimate goal of research into cough is to restore the cough reflex to normal levels, rather than stop it altogether.

“When people have a cough they have a heightened sensitivity, which we can demonstrate in the laboratory,” added Professor Morice. “However, we don’t want to eliminate cough in patients because it is vital to keeping people well – it stops us getting pneumonia – so a return to normal sensitivity is the goal.

“We already have some agents that we can use but the effective ones, such as morphine, have side-effects, so our aim is to find an agent that works that has a good side-effect profile.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Pharmacological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Pharmacological Society. "Study May Cough Up New Treatment For A Tickly Throat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708074037.htm>.
British Pharmacological Society. (2009, July 8). Study May Cough Up New Treatment For A Tickly Throat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708074037.htm
British Pharmacological Society. "Study May Cough Up New Treatment For A Tickly Throat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708074037.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins