Now, Michel said, "we can look specifically at whether the newly discovered mediators of blood flow control in the extremities are malfunctioning in such people. If they do, we may find a way to handle this."
And, Chotani said, "in the disease process, the implications for the findings that we have, these new players potentially could be targets for pharmaceutical drugs."
What about people at the other extreme, whose hands and feet always feel hot?
"That's another physiological response of the body trying to open up the blood vessels and just remove the heat from the body, so it doesn't overheat," Chotani said. "The receptor, I would think, is not working. It's just the opposite scenario."
Visit the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to learn more about Raynaud's phenomenon.
SOURCES: Maqsood Chotani, Ph.D., Center for Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Research: The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and assistant professor, department of pediatrics, Ohio State University Wexner College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio; Martin Michel, M.D., professor, department of pharmacology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany; May 23, 2012, American Journal of Physiology -- Cell Physiology, online
All rights reserved