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Genetics play a role in perception of pain

A recent study, supported by Proove Biosciences, sheds an interesting light on perception of pain.
The research project studied 2,721 subjects who suffer chronic pain and divided them into four subgroups based on their genetic makeup--COMT, DRD2,DRD1,OPRK1.  All of the subjects were currently prescribed opioid medications for their respective conditions.

All of the subjects were asked to rate their pain on a scale of zero to 10; those who rated their pain at zero were eliminated from the study.  The results, based on the four groups above, were as follows:

DRD1 gene variant was 33% more prevalent in the low pain group than in the high pain group.
In the moderate group, COMT and OPRK1 gene variants were found 25% and 19% more often respectively, than in the high pain group.
Lastly, the DRD2 variant was 25% more common in the high pain perception category than in the moderate group.

Study author Tobore Onoijighofi , MD says that this finding helps to understand why some individuals have a higher tolerance for pain than others in a more objective way. Potentially, new medications and pain management strategies may come into being as a better understanding of pain perception unfolds.

sources: Pain Management News, Create A Graph, flickr


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