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United Kingdom Biotech Medicine

Researchers Are Developing Cure for Human Pain (neurosciencenews.com) 151

transporter_ii writes: Scientists from University College London seem to have come up with a two-pronged treatment regimen they believe would help patients suffering from chronic pain. And in a strange irony, they did it by making it possible for mice – and one human – to feel pain when they previously couldn't. From the story: "To examine if opioids were important for painlessness, the researchers gave naloxone, an opioid blocker, to mice lacking Nav1.7 and found that they became able to feel pain. They then gave naloxone to a 39-year-old woman with the rare mutation and she felt pain for the first time in her life. 'After a decade of rather disappointing drug trials, we now have confirmation that Nav1.7 really is a key element in human pain,' says senior author Professor John Wood (UCL Medicine). 'The secret ingredient turned out to be good old-fashioned opioid peptides, and we have now filed a patent for combining low dose opioids with Nav1.7 blockers. This should replicate the painlessness experienced by people with rare mutations, and we have already successfully tested this approach in unmodified mice.'"
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Researchers Are Developing Cure for Human Pain

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  • Ouch (Score:5, Funny)

    by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @02:03PM (#51068027) Homepage

    Scientists from University College London seem to have come up with a two-pronged treatment regiment

    Two-pronged? Sounds painful. Couldn't they have made it one-pronged, or, like, two-nubbed or something?

  • Too late for some. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AutodidactLabrat ( 3506801 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @02:03PM (#51068031)
    Ever watch a Cancer patient die?
    I have. I listened to her cry, and whimper, and finally scream until she had to be sedated into unconsciousness with morphine and I mean a LOT of it.
    If this just DELAYS that final dosing, it would add weeks or months of enjoyable life to those who are dying of such agony.
    Patented? GOOD! Maybe this time the patent rights will be granted to competing entities, allowing for some competition.
    Since these are British researchers, we can so hope, they aren't quite as corrupted as our government funded research.
    • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @02:10PM (#51068059)

      Ever watch a Cancer patient die?
      I have. I listened to her cry, and whimper, and finally scream until she had to be sedated into unconsciousness with morphine and I mean a LOT of it.

      I'm sorry you had to go through this, truly. It sounds like she needed to be given opiates much sooner than she was. There is no reason at all for anybody to go through that kind of suffering, except for the tooth-and-nails resistance of oncologists to get people into hospice before they start suffering like this.

      Anybody with aging parents or an ill family member needs to educate themselves about hospice, and advocate fiercely for their loved ones.

      • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @02:45PM (#51068189) Homepage

        Ever watch a Cancer patient die?
        I have. I listened to her cry, and whimper, and finally scream until she had to be sedated into unconsciousness with morphine and I mean a LOT of it.

        I'm sorry you had to go through this, truly. It sounds like she needed to be given opiates much sooner than she was. There is no reason at all for anybody to go through that kind of suffering, except for the tooth-and-nails resistance of oncologists to get people into hospice before they start suffering like this.

        Anybody with aging parents or an ill family member needs to educate themselves about hospice, and advocate fiercely for their loved ones.

        I had a relative watch a friend die. They increased the drugs to the "maximum legal limit" and even tilted the bed to make it harder to breath so that the friend would die quicker. They then had to sit there and watch and keep hoping that each breath was their last. How is this and doing things like removing the feeding tube and letting someone starve to death "standard procedure"? It's cruel and unusual punishment. Even our criminals are treated better.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          I'm not a medical doctor, but I didn't think there was a "legal limit" on painkillers. There are lethal doses, and standards of care, but it's not like there's a crime on the books for 1mg more than some arbitrary limit. Perhaps the doctor was lying to you to pass off the reason for why they didn't give more. At some point it doesn't improve the standard of living of the patient.
          • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @04:31PM (#51068721)

            The legal limit is "dont kill the patient". Unfortunately the realities of terminal illness is that people can be in such harrowing agony the only rational thing to do is to help the patient pass away so doctors will often quietly administer a dose that will probably kill the patient reasoning that its the only dose that will contain the suffering and if the patient dies, well such is terminal illness.

            This puts doctors in a horrible situation legally. We accept without question that it is humane to euthenise pets whos suffering is more than they can deal with. Yet we cant allow our own species to take a dignified exit when they, and the doctor, agree that hope is lost.

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              Someone on opiates for long term build up a tolerance that diminishes the effect, but the tolerance also increases the LD50. This is why so many people OD. They take half the dose of the addict that's showing them how, and that's quite lethal. Or, the long-term addict who was locked up in prison or rehab gets clean enough that their old maintenance dose is quite lethal. This is also why the concept of a maximum legal dose would be silly, as it would vary from person to person.

              A good suicide method woul
              • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @08:30PM (#51069871) Homepage

                A good suicide method would be to give a reasonable dose, then let the patient self-administer in 1mg doses. Someone tolerant enough of it to keep dosing themselves deserves the right to keep administering, if they so choose.

                That might work for someone who has a fully functional brain and is capable of movement but many times for the terminally ill at the very end, that's not the case. They might be brain dead, paralysed, non-responsive, mentally incompetent or one or more other reasons that they can't self-administer. Most people who would be aware enough and physically able enough to self-administer wouldn't actually want to commit suicide. I think the more common case are the people who can't self-administer or even express their wishes who are left to suffer.

            • by tempmpi ( 233132 )

              The legal limit is "dont kill the patient".

              Maybe in the US. At least here in Germany it is legal to administer doses of morphine or other pain killers that might kill the patient as a side-effect, if these high doses are required to control the pain. However, doctors from hospices usually dispute the view that a proper dosing of morphine will hasten death. If you would administer the doses used in hospices to someone unused to opioids, they would kill, but we are talking about people that have usually received high doses of opioids for long time.
              The

            • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

              This puts doctors in a horrible situation legally. We accept without question that it is humane to euthenise pets whos suffering is more than they can deal with. Yet we cant allow our own species to take a dignified exit when they, and the doctor, agree that hope is lost.

              Very true. The irony of that stance has struck me more than once before.

          • by K10W ( 1705114 )

            I'm not a medical doctor, but I didn't think there was a "legal limit" on painkillers. There are lethal doses, and standards of care, but it's not like there's a crime on the books for 1mg more than some arbitrary limit. Perhaps the doctor was lying to you to pass off the reason for why they didn't give more. At some point it doesn't improve the standard of living of the patient.

            They can't give so much as to supress the breathing centre as pulmonary depression from such a dose would go into euthanasia territory so no the doc wasn't lying; you'd lose licence or worse for doing that before the final moments which can be weeks (or more) away in many cases.

            You'd be surprised how ineffective at managing pain opiates are in terminal phase of cancer and the like. They tend to dull some of it not make it painless and "kill" it despite what people think in those cases. It just makes agon

        • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

          Even our criminals are treated better.

          It's such a rare and insightful perspective. Criminals can be executed instead of suffering their guilt while incarcerated for their entire life. Meanwhile whole families are sentenced to watching a loved one suffer, be humiliated and eventually die in the most horrible ways when they have already chosen to die. It's a fucked up society that will take a life but will allow someone who is perfectly innocent to suffer for a long time before an inevitable, un-revocable, death penalty.

          People who haven't suff

        • He has a fantastic bit about his mother's passing. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but this one is worth a listen.
        • Even our criminals are treated better

          Not sure about that - apparently the lethal injections ensures that the last moments of the condemned is likely to be absolute hell. But we DO treat animals better - at least if they are cute and cuddly and not destined for the abattoir.

      • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @02:47PM (#51068199)

        >no reason at all ... except for the tooth-and-nails resistance of oncologists to get people into hospice

        It's not just that, it's a perverse Calvinistic view of chronic pain in general that one should just 'deal with it.'

        Never mind the fact that such pain has other clinical effects, like elevated blood pressure, depression, etc.

        The hostility that too many doctors have to analgesics is maddening. Over the past couple of years, it's gotten worse. Considering what's been going on with the latest moral panic over opioids/opiates and shenanigans like what's gone on over at the CDC about this, people are suffering and dying (sometimes because of suicide) needlessly.

        When the CDC gets piled on by a bunch of other agencies (FDA, HHS, etc.,) for fucking this up, something is rotten in Denmark.

        --
        BMO

        • That's why this story is so cool.

          There's a good reason why doctors are hostile to analgesics. They can cause damage that lasts far longer than the acute pain, and can cause effects in the long term that are worse than the chronic pain, in many cases.

          For many cases of chronic pain, the relatively harmless stuff like NSAIDs, aspirin, and acetaminophen don't really work well enough, and in high doses all of these are toxic. So out come the opiates, however, opiates quickly induce tolerance so larger and larger doses are required. And the tolerance becomes addiction, and the brain starts getting re-wired. Not to mention the side effects of opiates, which aren't all that nice either.

          It can take *years* for a brain re-wired by long term use of opiates can return to "sort of" normal, if ever. And the return to normal has nasty psychological effects, such as depression, OCD-like symptoms, suicidal tendencies, and an inability to be happy or experience joy.

          It's much more than "moral panic" over opiates. The drugs are frankly dangerous, and even with the very best management practices, they will spin out of control if a person is on them too long.

          I'd only want to be on large amounts of opiates if I were terminally ill.

          • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @04:10PM (#51068603)

            There's a good reason why doctors are hostile to analgesics.

            They're scared of the DEA if they prescribe opiates in a way that offends the local field office.

            So out come the opiates, however, opiates quickly induce tolerance so larger and larger doses are required.

            So? Medical literature shows no additional side effects from even extreme doses (some non-terminal chronic pain sufferers even take 800+mg/day of oxycodone without issue)

            And the tolerance becomes addiction, and the brain starts getting re-wired.

            Despite the anecdotes, there's no medical evidence this happens anything more than a tiny minority of the time in patients who aren't already drug abusers. Dependence is not the same as addiction.

            Not to mention the side effects of opiates, which aren't all that nice either.

            Constipation, tiny bit of immune suppression rarely clinically significant, and...? Do you mean the effect of non-prescribed opiates due to prohibition rather than the substances themselves? People with tolerance to opiates aren't impaired and nodding out if they're being properly managed.

            It can take *years* for a brain re-wired by long term use of opiates can return to "sort of" normal, if ever.

            Among addicts with the medically distinct condition of addiction. As mentioned, a very small minority of those treated with opioids. And the statement should be more like a 1-3 months to 'sort of' normal, and 'if ever' for 'totally normal'.

            It's much more than "moral panic" over opiates. The drugs are frankly dangerous, and even with the very best management practices, they will spin out of control if a person is on them too long.

            It actually is moral panic. Medically speaking, opiates are far safer than the vast majority of prescription drugs. You sound like all your knowledge of opioid treatment comes exclusively from anti-drug propaganda sources. It sure as hell didn't come from the medical community.

            I'd only want to be on large amounts of opiates if I were terminally ill.

            Well you're into that whole drug war propaganda thing where you believe everyone prescribed some Vicodin for a toothache is shooting up heroin with dirty needles while homeless in an alley a few months later. So if you want to suffer, go for it. But respect the rights of others to not want to suffer because of opioid hysteria like you're spreading. And even if you want to go on believing that hysteria, I hope we can at least agree that the DEA shouldn't be setting treatment guidelines like it is now, and it should be left up to the patient and their doctor. (if you're getting massively overprescribed by a pill mill, it's a situation you've gone out of your way to get to)

            • Excellent, well done,

              "(if you're getting massively overprescribed by a pill mill, it's a situation you've gone out of your way to get to)"

              except for that last sentence. As right you are elsewhere, your as wrong here.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                I'm a pharmacist. The goodly sum of the pill mill patients do not need what they are prescribed and sell it on the streets. Its funny when the pain docs finally get around to piss testing (also due to DEA pressure) we start getting letters and faxes about patients being discharged...because the prescribed meds WERE NOT FOUND in their system.

              • Perhaps you're confused as to what "massively overprescribed" and "pill mill" actually mean. I assure you, the kind of place that will write you a bunch of extra scripts in relatives names (to avoid suspicious per-person prescribing) without doing examinations (because they see 15+ patients/hr) are NOT the kind of place you wind up in by accident. At a bare minimum, the 4 hour long line of 20- and 30- somethings who look perfectly healthy would clue you in, and normal people wouldn't want a doctor who doesn
            • >You sound like all your knowledge of opioid treatment comes exclusively from anti-drug propaganda sources. It sure as hell didn't come from the medical community.

              Actually, the knowledge comes from my friend, who suffers from chronic pain, and who quit opiods cold turkey and now lives with the pain (though it's less now), the depression, and is recovering mentally slowly. He's been doing heavy research on the effects opiod use has on people, as he tries to find his way back to relative mental normalcy.

              H

              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                I am an opiate addict though I no longer use IV (very often) and am on Suboxone. I did first take opiates for the pain, they handed 'em out like candy back then. However, that's not why I stuck with it. I used them because I like the warm embrace. I like being able to sleep. I like not really caring a whole lot. The world is full of stupid people who say stupid things and I find it easier to deal with them when I'm high. Dealing with them was a requirement.

                I was a functional addict for years. I still am, re

          • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @05:02PM (#51068869) Homepage Journal

            If your choice was confinement to bed or opiates, I'll bet you would sooner of later risk the opiates if that was an option. Pain can get severe enough to blot out thought even in the absence of a terminal condition. The answer used to be risk the opiates and give them years of more of less normalcy. The answer now seems to be let 'em scream.

          • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @06:42PM (#51069417)

            > the relatively harmless stuff like NSAIDs

            Speaking as a victim of this meme, I have to say that this is one of the most dangerous memes out there.

            Ibuprofen, and such, kill your kidneys. I should know, my cardiologist tore me a new asshole when I told him how much OTC ibuprofen I was taking for my arm pain. I am sure that part of the kidney damage I have is because of that.

            4mg of hydromorphone would have been /much/ safer. And no, I wouldn't have gotten addicted, because I'm not the type of person who does so, because I've seen other people with addiction problems and I've learned the easy way by watching them learn the hard way.

            It's too bad I had to learn about NSAIDs the hard way myself.

            >they will spin out of control if a person is on them too long.

            Chronic pain sufferers aren't looking to get high. They just want to get out of the fetal position and get out of bed.

            My wife has one of those rare doctors who is actually knowledgeable about chronic pain. She is terrified of what will happen to her when he retires - she travels an hour across the state because in 7 years, she's yet to find a doctor locally who takes chronic pain seriously. And this moral panic is terrifying her even more, on top of that.

            If she is cut off from her legal and safe meds, which she has been responsively using for decades now, she will either kill herself (the plan is a helium 'exit bag' - we have soberly discussed this at length, and I am not OK with it.) /or/ she will turn to street heroin, truly a sub-optimal solution. This moral panic is killing people and making heroin addicts out of chronic pain sufferers because they turn to heroin when cold-turkeyed and locked out by ignorant-as-fuck doctors from legal and safe opiates and get thrown into the world of "I don't know how much this dose is because I got it from Shady-Joe."

            This moral panic is a pogrom against the ill. It needs to fucking stop right now.

            And yes, there are moneyed interests behind this moral panic. You can google this stuff yourself.

            Kurt Cobain is dead largely because of chronic pain and the cascade of effects it has. Chronic pain is not to be fucked with.

            In his journals, Kurt often mentioned that he was suffering from chronic stomach pain. He went to several doctors but they were unable to determine the cause. His condition worsened as time progressed which prompted Cobain to shoot up more and more heroin to alleviate the pain. In his suicide note, Kurt references his stomach problems:

            "Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years."

            https://www.upvenue.com/articl... [upvenue.com]

            This war on drugs has been a fucking disaster.

            --
            BMO

            • by bmo ( 77928 )

              >responsively

              Argh.

              responsibly.

            • And no, I wouldn't have gotten addicted, because I'm not the type of person who does so, because I've seen other people with addiction problems and I've learned the easy way by watching them learn the hard way.

              If your brain chemistry is such that you're not prone to addiction, that's wonderful for you, but it has nothing to do with what type of person you are or what you've learned. I recommend against finding this out the hard way.

              • by bmo ( 77928 )

                The type of person I am is 'not prone to addiction'

                I recommend that you not read too much into what other people say especially when I wasn't trying to say I'm better than you or other people who /are/ prone to addiction.

                KTHXBAI

                --
                BMO

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            I had a serious accident that cost me half of my left ring finger and required fusing the distal joint on my middle finger. I was prescribed 40 mg oxycodone per day but after about two weeks it was just too much -- I was listless and in a fog, so I just dialed back the dosage to the point where the pain was manageable and I was much less foggy. I ended up on a daily dose of about 5 mg for three months and when they were gone, I never felt the need to take more.

            I don't know how typical my experience is, bu

            • I hope this new treatment works and then people who just want to be free of pain aren't at risk of becoming slaves to opiates.

              --PM

            • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
              This is a common situation. People who are prescribed opiates for acute pain rarely get addicted.

              Personal anecdote - I was prescribed 16mg oxycodone after an oral surgery. I really disliked the side effects (nausea and woozy head) so I stopped taking it after several days.

              I kept the pills, though, since they are quite useful - a month or so ago I got a big shallow steam burn (from opening an oven door) and I know from experience that such burns are not threatening but a huge PITA as they cause a lot of d
          • Really? Opiates taken over a long time will make any human an addict? I must not be human then.

            I know a sample size of one does not negate a theory all its own. I suggest you do some more research on your claims since I know them to not be true.

            The dangers on opiates are wildly overblown. Humans have been using opiates for pain for hundreds or thousands of years. We know it works and we know how it works. We know how much is safe and how much is too much. Tylenol is far more dangerous than opiates, w

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          It's because we don't have people becoming doctors to help people. they are there to be wealthy.

          Remember the old small town doctor that drive a rusted out chevy and helped poor people for free and even make house calls? Yeah those don't exist anymore. My doc was that kind and he recently died.

          He told me that the government would put him in jail for giving free care or making house calls. I guess charging less than the mandated minimum is a felony in the United States.

          Honest doctors help those in need.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Fwiw making housecalls or giving free car is not illegal in the US. The problem he probably had with it is malpractice insurance wont cover most home visits or medical care delivered w/o charting. If he/she were to *lie* about where the care was delivered then the govt licensing board would have his hide.

            This isn't much different than the reason why girl scout cookies must be cooked in a commercial kitchen. Not some big conspiracy, but a side effect of nanny statism.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            "Remember the old small town doctor that drive a rusted out chevy and helped poor people for free and even make house calls?"

            No, because they didn't exist.

        • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @08:33PM (#51069881) Journal

          The hostility that too many doctors have to analgesics is maddening.

          It's not that the doctors are hostile to giving adequate doses of painkillers.

          It's that the DEA examines how often and how much they prescribe, and if it is too high (by their far too low scales) they come down on the doctors with penalties that are often career-ending. This puts doctors treating chronic-pain cases, or painful diseases, at substantial risk. So they underprescribe painkillers in order to avoid discovering the current administrative threshold by exceeding it.

          This is particularly appalling now that it has been discovered that adequate opioid painkiller dosage in the first weeks following a traumatic injury apparently prevents post traumatic stress disorder. Perhaps the high and rising incidence of this debilitating condition in the past decades was entirely the result of the drug war.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        It's more complicated than that. At some point, the dose that controls the pain is the same as the lethal dose. The Nav1.7 blocker allows a much lower dose of opiates to totally block pain without the sedation or suppressing breathing.

      • Anybody with aging parents or an ill family member needs to educate themselves about hospice, and advocate fiercely for their loved ones.

        Or, more realistically, help those relatives acquire a guaranteed-lethal dose of heroine from black markets. Or, since this is an American site, a gun. Death is a tough enough thing to face without having to be at the mercy of random strangers and various twisted agendas, too.

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        "except for the tooth-and-nails resistance of oncologists to get people into hospice before they start suffering like this."

        I don't believe oncologists control entry to hospice. I've lost two family members in the last three years to cancer. Each had to wait because of a lack of available facilities.

      • She was, but only at the DEA approved, far too low rate. Once her oncologist stepped in and had her dosages raised, she either slept or woke up on agony for the last three weeks.
    • Maybe this time the patent rights will be granted to competing entities, allowing for some competition. Since these are British researchers, we can so hope, they aren't quite as corrupted as our government funded research.

      I'm not sure what this means - what is (somewhat euphemistically) termed "technology transfer" is standard practice in the UK just as in the US, although the actual laws are different of course. I've been in competition (some friendly, some not) with academically-based-or-derived groups

      • I agree, non exclusivity means competition means lower prices....thus serving best the public good (required in corporate charters).
        It saddens me to hear that once again, breakthrough science, usually paid out of the public wheal, will be used to maximize profits while people die...again.
    • Imagine seeing someone die of cancer, and their wife flushing any pain medication he got because "junkies will break in to steal it!". I lost my uncle to cancer, and my aunt to 'can't be the same room as such a despicable person'.
    • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

      Ever watch a Cancer patient die?

      Yes, unfortunately I can empathize with you. It was brain cancer. It was so fucked. The persons family believed in quacks and thought doctors, with years of experience, decades of research and 10's of millions of dollars worth of equipment, "didn't know shit" and didn't even let them try. Their answer to brain cancer was a plywood box around her head filled with rare earth magnets. It was the closest thing I'd seen to torturing a person, I didn't know a person head could swell so much.

      She couldn't speak s

  • Regime, I think you meant.

    Editors? We don't need no stinking editors!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Regime, I think you meant.

      Editors? We don't need no stinking editors!

      I believe what you mean is regimen [reference.com].

  • You may like to read:

    Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ
    10 Confirmed Dead In Shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College

    Jeez. If you're going to give me recommendations, could you at least not recommend stories that are two months to a year old?

    Next up: Japanese Cities Destroyed by Nuclear Bombs

    • or yet better: technology related
    • Next up: Japanese Cities Destroyed by Nuclear Bombs

      Repost!

      But seriously. Maybe I've been playing too much Fallout, but now is the time to prepare. As Phoenix666 suggested, we should mostly be preparing to seal the Illuminati's luxury vaults with cement.

      Then perhaps we can engage in a summit to discuss the shortcomings of the last Constitution (we did it before when the Articles of Confederation weren't good enough) and how to prevent this madness while honoring liberty.

  • We've got a cure for pain, a cure for fever (aspirin, Ibuprofin), now all we need is a cure for tiredness.

    Once we have that, doctors will have a prescription cocktail of 3 medicines that will cure almost anything!

    (Your symptoms went away - what's the problem?)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gnupun ( 752725 )

      Pain is a warning that something is wrong and is harming you. You don't want the warning to go away... you want the problem that's causing the warning to be solved.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        no cure for entropy though :(

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @02:53PM (#51068223)

        Yes, you want to have the pain until you have pinpointed the problem. Then you can turn off the alarm.

        So yes, people need to be very careful about using a "cure" for pain. People who don't feel pain can end up with much more serious damage to themselves from otherwise mundane causes than people who do feel pain.

        Ever burn yourself on a stove and yank your hand back? Someone who doesn't feel pain would probably not notice until they figured out that the burning smell was their own charred flesh.

        • People who can't feel pain aren't necessarily insensitive to temperature, or other pain-associated senses like pressure. This depends upon what neural pathways are effected by whatever disorder the person has.

          Some people won't reflexively snatch their hand away, because it doesn't hurt, but will still be aware that their hand is "too hot", based on previous experience of how hot their hand can safely be.

          Aside: People insensitive to pain and temperature often die of fever at a young age because their body

          • People who can't feel pain aren't necessarily insensitive to temperature

            No, but you feel the pain long before you feel the temperature when you burn yourself on a hot object (fire varies, depending on the flame) and all the temperature is going to do is tell you why you're smelling an odor of BBQ.

            My concern runs along these lines: We're finding that painkillers actually dull people's ability to feel emotion, not just pain...

        • Lack of pain can be fatal.

          The disease Leprosy does not cause all of those terrible symptoms, directly. It only kills the pain nerves. All of the missing fingers and toes, and worse, are dure to the lack of pain and the occaisional mistakes it causes.

      • Re:Cure for symptoms (Score:5, Informative)

        by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @03:14PM (#51068317) Homepage

        Pain is a warning that something is wrong and is harming you. You don't want the warning to go away... you want the problem that's causing the warning to be solved.

        That's not really what chronic pain is, though. Yes, pain is a warning, and an important one for most situations. When the system designed to regulate and deliver pain is broken, though, you get chronic pain. You feel pain regardless of whether or not there's actual harm being done. It's like trying to live in a house where the fire alarm is always going off.

        My wife has PMPS [theacpa.org]. When her surgery was performed, a number of nerve endings deep in her chest cavity were damaged; they can't grow back, and they're constantly firing alarms at every slightest thing. For her, riding in a car hurts when the car goes over a small bump in the road. Coughing or sneezing hurts like hell. Getting hugged to hard or run into too quickly by our 6-year-old daughter hurts. Don't even think of trying to pick that kid up, either, because that'll hurt, too. My wife's low-impact elliptical workouts are an exercise in constant nerve pain, but she does them anyway to keep up her health. Pulling on a locked door handle expecting it to be open hurts. Trying to grab a pan off the top shelf hurts. Lying on her back hurts. Rolling over in bed hurts. She's lucky to get four hours of sleep on a typical day, thanks to a vicious combination of anti-cancer meds and pain. Countless little, insignificant, pedestrian things that most people wouldn't even bat an eyelid at are constant and grinding sources of pain for her.

        She knows what the problem is; she's got busted nerves in her chest. You can't really fix busted nerves. Yes, there are risks to not feeling pain, but holy hell we'd take them in a heartbeat just to be able to shut this goddamned internal fire alarm off, even for a day.

        There are millions of people dealing with the same kind of thing: constant, chronic pain. This would very literally change their lives.

        • I had my cheekbone broken and my infraorbital nerve entrapped in the bone for a year. It took three years for that nerve to stop reporting the gentle breeze as burning hot pain. I sympathize with your wife and hope that some day the nerve returns to a more restive state.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I suffer from chronic pain. I use painkillers to dull it, but it never goes away. Sometimes it is useful, telling me that something I'd wrong, but most of the time it's just meaningless suffering without end.

        What I need is something to turn off the meaningless chronic part, but leave the acute pain there so I realise when I am damaged or unwell.

        • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

          I suffer from chronic pain. I use painkillers to dull it, but it never goes away. Sometimes it is useful, telling me that something I'd wrong, but most of the time it's just meaningless suffering without end.

          After years of competition martial arts and sports like hockey, football and soccer I snapped an achilles tendon, the injury was so bad that a secondary injury was a snapped cruciate ligament in my knee. I went through about a litre of morphine (the bottle was attached to a clicker), so much that I said I couldn't deal with it any more. After it wore off, they didn't ask me if I wanted it, they just jabbed me. The pain was so extreme that after surgery the doctor explained that my legs had been in severe p

  • The torturers will love this. Make people feel double the pain...

  • in just the US. It is a major symptom that goes along mostly with about 120 million people with chronic illness. About half the adults in the US have a chronic illness.

    Painkillers (NSAIDs & Aspirin) can often cause other problems, like gastrointestinal bleeding. Hence, if a new regime to control pain actually works, it might solve a number of issues in treatment of chronic illness. But it is not going to eliminate the chronic illness. In other words, stay healthy.

  • good old-fashioned opioid peptides

    I remember them well.

  • quote: "They then gave naloxone to a 39-year-old woman with the rare mutation and she felt pain for the first time in her life."

    What a heartwarming story!

    Woman breaks her toe on a table leg. "AAAAH! Ngh. . . It's so. . . wonderful! Gaaah!" Cries tears of joy(?).

    OK, I understand that this is a serious medical condition, not to mention a breakthrough in our understanding of the subject. No disrespect. . . But I couldn't help noticing the irony and dark humor implicit in that one sentence.

    • Yeah, I would really like to hear more about this women's experience of feeling pain for the first time. How would she react to that? How long before she said that's great, now shut it off please.

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock&poetic,com> on Sunday December 06, 2015 @04:35PM (#51068739)

    My introduction to hypnosis was having three teeth pulled after a five minute session. No drugs. One tooth had three roots wrapped around bone. For a week I spit out bits of broken bone, but no pain, no bleeding at any time.

    A skilled hypnotist can remove chronic pain in a single session. Even better, he/she can teach how you can do it yourself, if necessary for the rest of your life. Most people do well with hypnosis.

    There seems to be a lot of superstition and mystery concerning hypnosis among the ignorant, especially in the medical profession. It can't do all miracles but it does some very well. If you haven't looked closely in to it you are doing yourself and your loved ones a disservice. You'll never know the myriad ways it can benefit you.

  • I'd post the whole zalgo thing if the site supported Unicode.

    Are you fucking serious. Causing more pain?! I've experienced plenty, to the point where I come back around to my original decision about a decade and a half ago that suicide is preferable to the pain of circumcision, at least what happened to me. I gather circumcisions generally go well. I'm just unlucky.

    (I am about to lose access to my meds, and "religious objection!" may prevent me from getting a replacement, as much as I want to cooperate

  • What about that?

    If you can kill, or at least scale back the pain that active, epic levels of idiocy cause me, I'd wholly fund the thing tomorrow.

  • I believe this "cure" for pain will fail, though it may be a more effective treatment than traditional opiates if it has fewer side effects. Why will it fail? Pain consists of TWO key elements. Element 1 is the physical stimulus or nerve conduction (this is actually the least important). Element 2 is the brain's emotional response to the stimuli it received. The brain is capable is experiencing pain even when no stimulus is received from a peripheral site. Phantom limb pain in amputees definitively proves t
  • Discovery of a selective NaV1.7 inhibitor from centipede venom with analgesic efficacy exceeding morphine in rodent pain models http://www.pnas.org/content/11... [pnas.org]
  • I'm very glad this discovery is coming along, and hope it gets out on the market quickly (and at a reasonable price).

    I had the personal experience of knowing an individual who could feel pain well enough .. but couldn't identify from the pain where the injury was! He happened to be a Montagnard, Nott, the M-79 gunner on my recon team in Vietnam (long long ago) .. but I suppose that's neither here nor there. I saw him get injured several times and it was always the same thing. It usually took a couple of

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