MedicalXpress | Exercise in a pill may protect against extreme heat sensitivity.

We’ve all seen the story in the news before. Whether it’s the death of a physically fit high school athlete at football training camp in August, or of an elderly woman gardening in the middle of the day in July, heat stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition for which there is no treatment beyond submersion in ice water or the application of ice packs to cool the body to a normal temperature.

But, in a new study published today in the journal Nature Medicine, scientists discovered what they believe is one of the first drugs to combat heat stroke. AICAR – an experimental therapy once dubbed the “couch potato pill” for its ability to mimic the effects of exercise in sedentary mice – protected animals genetically predisposed to the disorder and may hold promise for the treatment of people with enhanced susceptibility to heat-induced sudden death.