WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 71-year-old Scottish woman has never felt pain in her life, according to researchers.
- Jo Cameron had wrist surgery, hip replacement and has given birth to her children, but she claims that she has never felt any pain after those procedures.
- She also added that she experiences very little anxiety and her body appears to heal quickly.
New research is shedding light on why a Scottish woman has never felt pain in her life. According to scientists, it is caused by a mutation in a previously unidentified gene. And just like many medical discoveries, the explanation comes to light by accident when Jo Cameron refused drugs after surgery, reports CBS News’ Elizabeth Palmer.
“I felt things. I felt my body stretching, I felt peculiar feelings, but nothing to make me – no pain,” Cameron said.
There’s a bit missing from one of her genes that affected her body chemistry, so Cameron simply doesn’t feel pain, researchers at London’s University College said. This is an exciting discovery for the team.
Living pain-free may sound enticing but it also has a downside. According to Jo, she often doesn’t realize when she’s hurt herself.
“I’m ironing and quite often and I’m sort of ironing away and suddenly find I’ve ironed my arm – and it’s only when I see afterwards a sort of mark down there that I see that I’ve ironed my arm,” the 71-year-old said.
“There’s a vast problem of around about six or seven percent of the population have ongoing excruciating pain so we really do need some new therapies,” John Wood, professor at the University College London said.
At the moment, millions of patients who suffer both chronic and acute pain have to rely on drugs that are often addictive.
“We hope that we’ll be able to help people in the future by harnessing the knowledge that we gain from the mutation in Jo, and trying to mimic it either through gene therapy or potentially in a pharmacological way,” Wood added.
This may be an exciting discovery for the researchers but for it to be translated into treatment of some sort will probably take years of further research and many millions of dollars.
Source: CBS News