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Five members of same family 'do not feel pain'

Posted on Monday, 18 December, 2017 | Comment icon 8 comments

Imagine life without the ability to feel the sensation of pain. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Letizia Marsili and five other members of her family are affected by an unusual pain insensitivity.
Marsili pain syndrome, which is actually named after the family themselves, results in an unusually high threshold to pain, meaning that most sufferers fail to notice even severe injuries.

Letizia, her mother, her two sons, her sister and her niece all suffer from this peculiar affliction.

"From day to day we live a very normal life, perhaps better than the rest of the population, because we very rarely get unwell and we hardly feel any pain," said Letizia.

"However, in truth, we do feel pain, the perception of pain, but this only lasts for a few seconds."

While the condition sounds potentially beneficial, the inability to sense injury can be dangerous - especially in the case of internal injuries or broken bones that can be serious if left untreated.

Letizia herself once fractured her shoulder while skiing but only knew to visit a doctor the following day because she could feel a mild tingling sensation in her hand.

Scientists are now hoping to identify a gene mutation in the affected family members that could lead to new treatments for chronic pain sufferers.

"We have opened up a whole new route to drug discovery for pain relief," said Prof Anna Maria Aloisi.

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)

Tags: Pain, Family

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by tcgram on 17 December, 2017, 15:11
Comment icon #2 Posted by Still Waters on 17 December, 2017, 16:34
I've read about people with this condition before. To not feel pain sounds ideal but in reality it's not good at all, pain lets us know when something is wrong.
Comment icon #3 Posted by FlyingAngel on 18 December, 2017, 20:32
Exactly! Every parts, every cells of us are made with a purpose
Comment icon #4 Posted by _KB_ on 18 December, 2017, 21:42
So it's genetic... K
Comment icon #5 Posted by strunk64 on 19 December, 2017, 1:17
If they can't feel pain, what about things that feel good. Can they feel touches, massage, sex?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Klownzilla on 19 December, 2017, 1:56
I agree that feeling pain is not a bad thing but why the hell must stuff hurt SOOOOO bad? Corner of a kitchen cupboard door in the back of the head anyone? XD Still remember those times when I dislocated my shoulder. That pain caused me to panic. I would love to have like 75% of their condition. It would be enough that i could just feel that something's not right...damn nerves. To me it really isn't necessary to be able to feel so much pain that you think you're gonna die from it
Comment icon #7 Posted by White Unicorn on 19 December, 2017, 16:34
They are putting this family's strange nerves and genetics to a good use for pain relief of others. I like that. What they will discover, who knows. Neurological disorders, surgery and sometimes deep meditation can effect how you react to a pain signal from the neurons to an area of your body. I get lack of sensation in my feet and hands at times. I can feel pressure but not cold, heat or pain. I broke my foot and only saw the black and blue and swelling. I also noticed when my hands go that way. If I touch a hot oven or pickup a pan from the oven, my skin doesn't get burned with blisters a... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Vincennes on 22 December, 2017, 14:55
I believe I've had experience with someone who had this condition, my mother. I wish I'd known more about it when she was alive so that I could have asked better questions. I used to tease her about it, telling her I thought the reason for it was that she was not of this planet and that she was really a Martian. I would not say that she felt no pain whatsoever. There was one major operation that involved her stomach but required going in through the back deflating her lungs. She did feel that BUT to a much lesser extent that I think normal people. She was back at work within maybe two day... [More]

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