Red hot chilli pepper: Man develops brain disorder after eating Carolina Reaper

Ed Currie holds three Carolina Reaper peppers in Fort Mill S.C. Last month The Guinness Book of World Records decided Currieā€™s peppers were the hottest on Earth ending a more than four-year drive to prove no one grows

After eating one Carolina Reaper (the world's hottest chili pepper) in a chili-eating contest in NY, an unidentified man developed "thunderclap" headaches.

Extremely hot peppers don't just blister your mouth and bum-they can also spark fiery havoc in your brain, according to a report published Monday inBMJ Case Reports.

Suffering multiple bouts of skull-crushing headaches, the man had to go through neck pain and dry heaving for days.

The description continues: "He then developed intense neck and occipital head pain".

Brain scans five weeks afterwards showed the man's arteries had returned to their normal width and the headaches had subsided. The scientific term for this temporary narrowing of arteries is reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome.

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The chilli was cultivated by South Carolina's Smokin' Ed Currie, notching up peak spice levels of over 2,189,000 scoville heat units.

"The public should be aware that they might get [severe symptoms] after eating peppers, such as the Carolina Reaper", Gunasekaran explained.

Thunderclap headaches are severe headaches and come on very fast.

But despite its name and gnarled appearance, some people still eat these insanely hot chilli peppers for fun - or peer recognition. Sometimes, this condition can occur as a reaction to certain prescription drugs, or to illegal drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy.

But in this instance, the pepper's spiciness caused the blood vessels supplying his brain to temporarily thin, producing the same painful outcome.

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"No cases of RCVS secondary to peppers or cayenne have been previously reported", he said, "but ingestion of cayenne pepper has been associated with coronary vasospasm and acute myocardial infarction", he added.

"He thought it would go away, but it did not", said Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, one of report's authors.

Speaking of symptoms, the man did not show any sign of stroke because he did not have any kind of neurological deficits such as slurred speech or muscle weakness.

What happened to a contestant in a hot-pepper-eating contest may give spicy food aficionados one more reason to "fear the reaper", according to a recent case report.

Effectively, the Scoville Scale reflects the concentration of capsaicin, a neuropeptide-releasing agent found in all members of the pepper family. "We eat them all the time", he said, with no ill consequences beyond pain.

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The patient was fine, with no lingering damage, but thunderclap headaches are not to be dismissed.

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