BEACON TRANSCRIPT – No pain, no gain. At least that’s what grandmothers and even mothers all over the English-speaking world say. And hell, they were right. I mean, you do have to put effort into what you do, strain yourself in order to succeed. Of course, as most proverbs go, it’s mostly a metaphor. But it’s one of those proverbs that can actually be used literally, as extended effort does indeed lead to pain. Well, that might not be the case anymore, as researchers are developing cure for human pain.
Pain medication has been a large part of medicine ever since its inception. Way back, before diseases were actually curable, and when an infection would most likely kill you in days, medical “professionals” would just give their patients plant concoctions to ease their pain and their passing into the afterlife. This comes as no surprise, since pain is a constant presence for pretty much all living things since birth.
Well, according to study published by researchers from the University College London, scientists are working on a cure for human pain. Using mice, scientists were able to reproduce the experience of painlessness lived by some humans born with a rare genetic mutation.
These people are born without the ability to feel pain, and if you watched Dr. House you probably remember the episode with the girl that suffered from this disease.
Sure, it may sound all fine and dandy, being able to walk around without experiencing pain, but the danger these people are in is quite serious, as pain is our body’s way of telling that there’s something wrong with it. Without pain, we would leave affections unattended, and they would get worse in time.
The researchers have figured out that sodium channel Nav1.7 is the one that passes along nerve cell membranes and sends information related to pain to the brain. They also figured out that people with their Nav1.7 channel blocked are the ones that suffer from the mutation, and that they also have a much lower number of natural opioid peptides in their bodies.
The next step was to temporarily give a person suffering from the condition a higher number of opioid peptides. This led to the 39 year old subject experiencing pain for the first time in her life.
This led researchers to figure out the mechanism that prevents the experience of pain, and they hope to begin human trials by 2017. The discoveries will be used to help chronic pain sufferers around the world, as medication that stops the experience of pain altogether is in development.
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