A new study reveals that a compound could potentially treat migraines by blocking light sensors in the eyes. The series of compounds called opsinamides can block a receptor in the eye called melanopsin which is a receptor found in the neurons connecting the brain and the eyes.
The researchers discovered that melanopsin is responsible for sensing light on its own, away from normal vision. This receptor is responsible for maintaining sleep cycles and various other sensitivity functions. It is also responsible for constructing the pupil within the eye when it is exposed to bright light, and causes the light- sensitivity that is generally linked to migraines.
The receptor also explains why sleep patterns can be disrupted if exposed to artificial light during the night. The study analyzed hundreds of chemicals to see whether each chemical would block melanopsin and at the same time they measured the calcium levels when the receptor was exposed to light.
The new compound called opsinamides blocks the receptor responsible for light-sensitivity associated with migraines. The calcium level in melanopsin increases which signifies that the light has been sensed and that a signal is being sent to the pupil of the eye.
A series of chemicals opsinamides were found to block the increase in calcium, which meant that they were stopping melanopsin from becoming active. The opsinamides also dint show any interaction with rhodopsin or cone opsins. The researchers also say that once these compounds are further examined and developed they could be useful to many people in different clinical settings.
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