Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mice Allow for Replication of Painlessness Mutation

There is a rare genetic mutation that prevents affected people from feeling pain. People affected by this mutation are born without a functioning sodium pathway Nav1.7. A new study was done in order to replicate this mutation in order for use with chronic pain patients in the future. Mice were used in this study, and it was found that both mice and humans affected by the mutation produce more opioid peptides. In order to observe whether or not opioids were important for painlessness, they gave an opioid blocker, naxalone, to the affected subjects. They found that they were able to feel pain afterwards.

Pain medicine for chronic pain patients is usually long term and can have bad side effects. The study resulted in filing a patent for a combination of opioids and Nav1.7 blockers in order to manage pain for effectively. This study also reinforced the fact that transgenic mice are able to model the nervous system of humans in order to test ways to replicate mutations from humans.

These findings are going to be extremely important when trying to treat patients with chronic pain. It eliminates the need for modern day pain medication. Patients usually develop a tolerance and a dependence on these medications that can have long lasting side effects. People with the affected mutation seem to develop no tolerance to opioids even though their bodies create more than the average person. If the researchers are able to find the right combination of blockers and opioids, this could lead to a real solution for pain.

Original Article.


  1. Seems like it'd have a lot of medicinal applications, especially in surgery

  2. This seems like there would be a lot of good use for this. Although, I worry about individuals born without chronic pain and have this trait. I feel as though that has the potential to be dangerous.