Pain: It’s in the Genes

Researchers are starting to correlate pain ratings with brain changes that can be seen during imaging tests. People who report more pain do exhibit more dramatic changes in brain activity… It’s likely that about 50 percent of individual differences in pain tolerance are determined by genes.

Though genetic tests for pain tolerance are not yet available outside studies, genetic tests that predict how people will respond to some medications already are in use.

Full story here.

Comments (6)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    It makes it really hard to practice cookbook medicine, when all the patients are different. Results like this must be disappointing for the command and control crowd.

  2. Ken says:

    So when people say that pain is all in the mind, they are not completely wrong?

  3. Larry C. says:

    Ken, no. It’s not all in the mind. But he mind shows parallel activity when the body is experiencing pain.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    In the future, this might have applications for pain management. This could make it easier for doctors to recognize which patients have chronic pain versus which ones are drug-seeking.

  5. Joe S. says:

    Devon, I think you need an MRI scan for that. Are you willing to spend health dollars that way?

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    Granted, we cannot give MRIs for every conceivable malady. In fact, Medicare hopes to save money by implementing new constraints on digital imaging.

    I do find it interesting that scientist are experimenting with smaller MRI machines that are less expensive to build and may only be useful for extremities rather than the entire body.