According to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others.

Study author Tobore Onojjighofia, MD, MPH, with Proove Biosciences and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said “Our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different pain tolerance levels. Identifying whether a person has these four genes could help doctors better understand a patient’s perception of pain.”

Researchers assessed over 2,700 people diagnosed with chronic pain for certain genes. The genes involved were COMT, DRD2, DRD1, and OPRK1. The participants rated their perception of pain on a scale from zero to 10.

Nine percent of the participants had low pain perception, 46% had moderate pain perception and 45 % had high pain perception.

“Chronic pain can affect every other part of life,” said Onojjighofia. “Finding genes that may play a role in pain perception could provide a target for developing new therapies and help physicians better understand their patients’ perceptions of pain.”       science daily.com     4/20/14

 

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