Every person is unique and is different from others. Even identical twins have different taste and behave differently. Likewise, every person has a different threshold level of bearing pain. Researchers working on the topic have found four important genes that determine the pain tolerance threshold in an individual. And therefore, it varies from person to person depending upon the key gene expression.
According to study author and member of the American Academy of Neurology, Tobore Onojjighofia MD, MPH, with Proove Biosciences said the findings from the study have furnish a way to understand pain and why pain endurance level varies from individuals. Knowledge of these genes is in patients would help doctors to judge their pain tolerance level and work accordingly.
Researchers for the study, assess 2,721 individuals who were identified with persistent pain for genes. These individuals were prescribed with opioid medication to reduce the pain arising from the COMT, DRD1, DRD2 and OPRK1 genes. All the individuals participating in the study were requested to rate their feeling of pain on a scale ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 symbolizes minimal pain and 10 as severe.
Analyzing the data from the participants, researchers found that 9 percent of the participants reported minor pain, 46 percent reported moderate level of pain and 45 percent reported a feeling of acute pain.
Researchers explain that the individuals experience different ranges of pain because certain genes expressed more than the others relatively. They noticed that the DRD1 gene form was 33 percent more prevalent in individuals experiencing minor pain. Whereas, COMT and OPRK gene form were more prevalent in participants with moderate pain, at 25 percent and 19 percent respectively. Acute pain perception was reported by individuals, which had DRD2 gene form presence, 25 percent more than with individual feeling moderate pain.
Identifying genes that may be linked with feelings of pain could help developing new therapies that would target specifically on these four gene forms and would provide doctors with an idea of pain tolerance level in their patient’s.
This study has provided us with a fair idea why some individuals are more skeptical in visiting a dentist or other doctors. Such individuals can be assured that right medication would be given to them depending upon their tolerance level. But then faking a pain would be difficult too, especially when you had the gene variant associated with a feeling of minor pain.
Images: Nih.gov, Shafiqah1.files., Blu.stb.s-msn