A Potential Cramp Reliever Muscles in the ALS Clinic at Phase 2

Some like it hot. Clinicians are gearing up to evaluate FLX-787 as a potential approach to reduce muscle cramps. The strategy, which contains cinnamon, ginger and capsaicin, the ‘heat’ from hot peppers, aims to reduce cramps by opening up TRP channels in the sensory nervous system. The approach is hypothesized to reduce motor neuron hyperexcitability in the spinal cord which is thought to underlie cramps and spasticity in the disease. [Image: Ferrandiz-Huertas et al., 2014 under a CC-BY-3.0 license.

A potential treatment is approaching the ALS clinic for muscle cramps – a key source of pain early in the disease. The strategy, which includes in part, capsaicin, aims to reduce cramps and muscle spasticity by opening up TRP ion channels in key sensory neurons located in the gastrointestinal tract. The approach, introduced by Harvard University’s Roderick MacKinnon, is one of two that is being evaluated in the clinic that aims to reduce muscle cramps and spasms in ALS by lowering motor neuron hyperexcitability (see March 2016 news). The strategy is being developed by Flex Pharma in Massachusetts. The clinical trial, which is to be led by Mayo Clinic’s Bjorn Oskarsson in Florida, is expected to launch in the United States this summer.

cramps disease-als muscle spasticity topic-randd
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