News & Events
A woman with an unusual mutation of the gene FAAH
- April 4, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
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A rather unusual discovery from the point of view of neuroscience was made by specialists from the University of Oxford – the fact is that they found a woman from Scotland who has a really high threshold of resistance to almost any type of pain. Interested in this case, the scientists sent Joe Cameron, as her name sounds, to be examined by neurologists to try to determine what the reason for such a high threshold of resistance to pain lies in. It turned out that a woman has two mutations at once that are associated with the FAAH gene, which was previously detected and proven as the gene responsible for receptors for pain and repair of wounds.
In addition to her ability to withstand pain, Joe Cameron also showed a much more accelerated process of tightening wounds – a woman had previously stated that despite the two operations she had on hip replacement aged 65 and 66, she almost did not experience pain and discomfort. Roughly the same thing she said in relation to much smaller pain factors such as scratches, bumps and insect bites.
Examining it, the scientists found that she had two mutations of the FAAH gene responsible for the expression of pain and self-treatment – the first mutation suppresses the expression of the gene itself, and the second mutates the work of the enzyme produced by the gene. As a result, its threshold of resistance to pain increases significantly – and further studies of its genome have shown that this mutation is innate and continues throughout life. It is worth noting that in her family, only her father had a similar mutation, and now her son, despite the fact that she also has an adult daughter, who has no such threshold.
This is very interested and intrigued by scientists who intend to continue to work actively with the study of this genetic mutation, because in theory it can lead them to understand how to resist pain at the system level – for example, how to create new, more effective drugs and drugs that suppress pain after surgery and other incidents. So it remains to wait for new news regarding the ongoing research.