This woman literally feels no pain. It’s in her genes.

News
no_pain_1553888110135.png

(CBS News) — Jo Cameron has never felt pain. Not after wrist surgery, not when she had her hip replaced not even giving birth to her children. The 71-year-old Scottish woman also experiences very little anxiety or fear, and her body appears to heal quickly. 

New research is shedding light on the genetic reasons why that is. Scientists say it’s caused by a mutation in a previously unidentified gene. Like a lot of medical discoveries, this came to light by chance, an alert doctor and a very unusual patient who 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, she said.

Researchers at London’s University College found a bit missing from one of her genes that affected Jo’s body chemistry, so she simply doesn’t feel what the rest of us call pain.

Sitting beside her husband in a doctor’s office, the same hot chilis she’s happily chewing make her husband wince. A pain-free life may sound great but it does have a downside. Jo 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 markdown there that I see that I’ve ironed my arm, Cameron said.  But for doctors, this is an exciting discovery. 

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, said University College London professor John Wood.

Millions of patients in both chronic and acute pain have to rely at the moment on addictive drugs.

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 said.

While this is an intriguing discovery we’re probably years and many millions of dollars away from it translating into treatment. But it’s certainly a ray of light for people plagued with pain.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Stories

More Local News

Recent Videos

KX News Daily Report 11-25-20

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Morning Forecast - Dave Holder

NDC NOV 25

Minot Minotauros

UMary Men's Basketball

KX Convo: Dr. Stephen McDonough

Affordable Housing

Rapid Tests

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/24

Turkey Pardon

Williston Schools Merger

More EBT Applications

2020 Census

ID Backlog

Tom's Tuesday Afternoon #OneMinuteForecast 11/24

Meals on Wheels

National Anthem

NDC NOV 24

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Morning Forecast - Dave Holder

Minot Girl's Hockey

More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss