Tolerance for pain may be in your genes

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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:15 am

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to people’s tolerance for pain, according to a new study.

For the study, researchers evaluated more than 2,700 people with chronic pain. The genes involved were COMT, DRD2, DRD1, and OPRK1. The participants rated their perception of pain. Nine percent of the participants had low pain reception, 46 percent had moderate perception, and 45 percent had high pain perception.

The results showed the DRD1 gene was 33 percent more prevalent in the low pain group than in the high pain group. For people with moderate pain perception, COMT and OPRK were 25 percent and 19 percent more prevalent than in those with high pain perception. DRD2 was 25 percent more common in people with high pain perception compared to those with moderate pain.

“Chronic pain can affect every other part of life,” study author Tobore Onojjighofia, MD, MPH, with Proove Biosciences, was quoted as saying. “Finding genes that maybe play a role in pain perception could provide a target for developing new therapies and help physicians better understand their patients' perceptions of pain.”

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