Here is an excerpt from the article Discovery of Chronic Pain Gene taken from the ProHealth Research Library. I have also posted the link if you are interested to read the full article.
Individuals who carry this gene are more susceptible to chronic pain following nerve injury.
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and elsewhere have succeeded in identifying for the first time a gene associated with susceptibility to chronic pain caused by nerve injury in humans – signaling a significant step toward better understanding and treating the condition.
Their findings were published online Aug 5 by Genome Research
Human Susceptibility to Chronic Pain Varies Greatly
Chronic pain is a serious medical problem, afflicting approximately 20% of adults. Some individuals are more susceptible than others, and the degree of pain experienced after injury or surgery is known to be highly variable between patients, even under nearly identical circumstances.
…… the international research team – led by Profs. Ariel Darvasi and Marshall Devor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and including scientists in Canada and Europe – identified a region of mouse chromosome 15 that likely contained a genetic variant or variants contributing to pain.
However, this region contains many genes, and the responsible variant remained unknown. ……….. By applying bio-informatics approaches and whole genome micro-array analysis, they then were able to confidently identify a single gene, CACNG2, as the likely candidate.
Tests Proved the Link to Chronic Pain in Animals
In testing mice for behavioral and electro-physiological characteristics of chronic pain, they found that the observations were consistent with a functional role for CACNG2 in pain, even though it might be modest.
Significant Association with Chronic Pain in Humans
Analyzing a cohort of breast cancer patients who experienced chronic pain half a year or more after they had undergone removal or partial removal of a breast, they found that genetic variants of CACNG2 were significantly associated with this chronic pain.
The authors cautioned that although this association will need to be analyzed further, the result is encouraging in pointing to this gene as a significant factor in experiencing pain.
In addition to the scientists from The Hebrew University, other contributors to the study were from the University of Toronto; Sanofi-Aventis, Germany; and the Karolinska Institute Center for Oral Biology, Sweden.
The work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, the Hebrew University Center for Research on Pain, the Canada Research Chair Program, and the European Community’s 6th Framework Program
Source: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, news release, Aug 5, 2010 (with modification)
There are 2 ways of looking at this. 1. This finally proves that the pain is not all manifesting in our heads. AND 2. There will be those who will exploit this in hoping that they have the gene when they REALLY ARE manifesting the pain in their heads.
I do hope that number 2. doesn’t happen. I tend to play devil’s advocate at times.
Have a great day!!