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The boy who could feel no pain


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

user posted image rA young Pakistani street performer and members of three related families have enabled scientists to make a genetic breakthrough that could lead to more effective painkillers. During his short life, the unnamed boy never felt pain.

He was a local celebrity in northern Pakistan where he astonished crowds by plunging knives through his arms and walking on burning coals. He died on his 14th birthday after jumping from a roof.

news icon View: Full Article | Source: Scientific American

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Good stuff. For those who don't know, sodium channels need to be open in order to produce an action potential which then sends info to the brain. So basically this gene acts the same way anaesthetics do.

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so what is the advantage of this stuff over anesthetics?

h. ***

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i would love not to feel pain. i wonder if a broken heart counts as pain?

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By a ecological front you can see that if these people were animals out in the wild they probably would have died off much quicker then animals that do sense such pain. Pain is vital for survival, without it entire species would die off. Although in our lives we don't really need pain to survive like regular animals.

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I have a couple of interesting questions that I'd like to know the answers to.

1. If they couldn't feel pain. Then could they feel pleasure?

2. If they couldn't feel pain, then could they feel anything at all by touching something. Like, if they held a pen in their hand, could they actually feel that pen on their hand?

and depending on the answer. If they could feel the pen against their hand, if they slowely pushed the end of the pen into their hand creating pressure on their skin and eventually puncture their skin, could they feel the different pressure of the pen as it pushed through? At one point the pressure would turn to pain in a 'normal' person, so would these non pain feeling people just constantly feel pressure, or nothing at all?

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I have a couple of interesting questions that I'd like to know the answers to.

1. If they couldn't feel pain. Then could they feel pleasure?

2. If they couldn't feel pain, then could they feel anything at all by touching something. Like, if they held a pen in their hand, could they actually feel that pen on their hand?

and depending on the answer. If they could feel the pen against their hand, if they slowely pushed the end of the pen into their hand creating pressure on their skin and eventually puncture their skin, could they feel the different pressure of the pen as it pushed through? At one point the pressure would turn to pain in a 'normal' person, so would these non pain feeling people just constantly feel pressure, or nothing at all?

In the transduction phase of pain, when tissue is damaged; specifically an ion or nueron, sodium channels open and continue to work until the tissue is regenerated. While they are open they aid in the release of Cyclooxygenase, which is an enzyme that converts arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. Prostaglandin is a mediator that stimulates nocireceptors, which carry the pain signal from the periphreal sensory system to the spinal cord. Also in the transmission phase, sodium channels open again to aid in the movement of the pain signal along the spinal cord.

1. So yes they could feel pleasure. Pleasure invovles the release of dopamine in the cell's nucleus.

2. They could still feel touch as it is different then pain, they would only feel pain when tissue or nuerons were damaged, such as touching something hot or so much pressure that cells are crushed.

Also the advantage of a sodium channel blocker would be no drousy effects. However pain is a good indicator during recovery as to if the wound is healing correctly (itching), or if movement has damaged the wound furthermore.

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WOW! I had heard of this before, but that's about it. It would be kinda cool, cause I suffer with RA, which at this time of the year can be miserable!! :( But then again, I fear that I could possibly injure myself & not even realize it...that's scary!

I also wonder like Dakotabre does:

I have a couple of interesting questions that I'd like to know the answers to.

1. If they couldn't feel pain. Then could they feel pleasure?

2. If they couldn't feel pain, then could they feel anything at all by touching something. Like, if they held a pen in their hand, could they actually feel that pen on their hand?

I'd hate not to feel pleasure!!! Or things like sand between my toes when I'm at the beach or the softness of my cats fur. I guess that living is really a game of give & take after all!

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Well they have pain receptors, they just don't function properly. As far as them being machines go, it's all based on personal interpretation. Personally, free thought, feelings, and emotions distinguish man from machine.

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My step-mom is a nurse and was telling me about someone she knew who had a kid that had some disorder where they couldn't feel pain. She said when she was a baby she almost bled to death from chewing through her lips. She has burn marks all over her from touching things that are too hot and not noticing it. It's not really an advantage not to be able to feel pain at all.

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Oh, that'd be neat. My biology teacher's stepmother & daughter both have that. Which is interesting, because he (My teacher) suffers from slight twitching, so sometimes his leg would accidentally kick her :unsure: , which of course, she wouldn't feel.

TeraLink Was Here!

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I agree that the inability to feel pain is a great disadvantage when it comes to survival. Really not that helpful to a human. :unsure:

Edited by MadMachine
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Certainly a shame he died at such a young age. Apparently, nobody told him, despite feeling no pain, it doesn't necessarily mean one is immortal.

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i saw a show on DHC a few months back about a little girl that did'nt feel pain either.they said she could stick her hand in boiling water,and still not feel it.they worry one day she'll just drop dead because something that has happened to her,like a cut,or an infection,simply because she could'nt feel pain and because she did'nt,she was at a higher risk of dying than anybody else!
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I've got a high pain tolerance, I feel pain, but it dosent really affect me that much. Years of meditation will do that to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can't help but imagine the military applications.

As one of the members said previously, machines...

Quoting Battlefield2;

"Alright. You're good to go, buddy. Now, get back to the fight"

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I wonder if they're able to feel physical discomfort. Kind of like having a stomach ache or a headache. Basically, would they be able to know if they were sick or not?

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Sounds really weird. We have a high tolerance for pain in the family which can be quite handy at times but sometimes it isn't.

A few weeks ago I decided to practice some gymnastics but on the trampoline my knee hit my chin cutting 2 teeth right through my lip (teeth were just fine) but my shirt was soaked in blood. I didn't feel a thing so I thought I was fine until someone looked and saw quite a big hole in my chin, he could see my teeth through it so I had to be taken to the hospital to get some stitches(sp?) in it. Luckily I did because even with the stitches it took a few weeks to heal completely.

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