'Hottest pepper in the world' put man in hospital, suffers brain effects

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The man is a NY state resident suffered a headache called "thunderclap" and his problems started when he ate the whole Carolina Reaper which is said to be the hottest chili pepper in the world, as per the Guinness World Records, while participating in the hot-pepper-eating competition.

The 34-year-old man told doctors he'd eaten a Carolina Reaper chilli after he presented to the Bassett Medical Center's emergency room, in the U.S. state of NY, with excruciating pain.

In the following days, he developed "intense" neck pain and headaches and was tested for neurological conditions.

It took five weeks for the patients' blood vessels to return to normal.

Because while it's common for the chilli to cause extreme discomfort, it's believed this was the first time it has been linked to thunderclap headaches.

CT and MRI scans of the man's brain were taken but showed nothing out of the ordinary.

The Carolina Reaper, a hybrid of the ghost pepper and the red habanero, is estimated to be about 300 times as hot as the spiciest jalapeno and holds the record as the hottest pepper in the world.

"Given the development of symptoms immediately after exposure to a known vasoactive substance", said the doctors involved with his treatment, "it is plausible that our patient had RCVS secondary to the Carolina Reaper".

The "crushingly painful" headaches came on in the next few days.

The Carolina Reaper was bred in 2013 by Ed Currie of the Puckerbutt Pepper Company.

It is normally associated with certain medications, such as ergotamine or triptans, and illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines - not peppers.

The searing pepper didn't sit well in the chili-eating contestant.

But they did discover that a few blood vessels in the brain had changed - sections of his internal, middle and posterior cerebral arteries had all narrowed.

Dr Kulothungan Gunasekaran, at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, who wrote the report, said people need to be aware of these risks, if eating the chilli.

Now this pepper, billed as the world's hottest, has made it into a medical journal.

One young man followed his dreams of hot-pepper-eating glory all the way to the emergency room.

Effectively, the Scoville Scale reflects the concentration of capsaicin, a neuropeptide-releasing agent found in all members of the pepper family.

"Our patient's symptoms improved with supportive care, he had no further thunderclap headaches", the report said.

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