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Pain sensitivity has genetic basis

26 July 1999
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 018

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report that much human sensitivity to pain - and the varied response people have to opiate pain medicine - has a genetic basis. It seems that many of the differences in pain perception are likely to be due to variations in a single gene. Reporting in the July issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers explain why a gene coding for the mu opiate receptor, a molecule that bonds with the body's natural opiates, is the probable gene for pain sensitivity. The work should eventually result in pain drugs tailored to a person's individual genetic sensitivities - the kind of genome-based therapy that could represent the future of medicine.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Researchers link pain sensitivity to gene
CNN Interactive |  20 July 1999
Response to pain is in the genes
The Daily Telegraph |  20 July 1999
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