Good news! Scientists have pinpointed specific proteins within the skin’s blood vessels that play a part in the body’s reaction to cold stimuli and may provide clues to the mystery behind Raynaud’s attacks.
Much of the report in the American Journal of Physiology — Cell Physiology sounds like “medical speak,” but the researchers appear to have narrowed down the hunt to two molecules called Epac and Rap1 that play an important role in Raynaud’s attacks. These alpha-2C receptors work to preserve body heat in normal people when exposed to extreme cold or stress. But in Raynaud’s sufferers, these receptors may be malfunctioning and become overactive.
If scientists can better understand the involvement these receptors have when Raynaud’s attacks are triggered, they could potentially be controlled through pharmaceutical drugs.