Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Medical Fact of the Day

Sometimes, life's a pain. But what if it wasn't? What if no matter what you did, you never felt any pain...?

Congenital Insensitivity to Pain CIP) is a rare genetic condition that leaves the effected individual with an inability to sense pain. The disorder can result from various genetic mutations involved with pain sensory pathways in the body, either by destroying nerve function, or by retarding the brains recognition of pain stimuli.

Though the condition itself is not life threatening, patients often suffer from infections, other diseases, and injuries simply because they are unaware that their body is being damaged. Imagine putting your hand on a hot stove and not feeling your skin burn, or biting half way through your tongue without knowing it.

While there is no current treatment for CIP patients, constant monitoring of injuries, cuts, scrapes, and overall health usually help patients maintain normal lives. Children with CIP are at the highest risk of fatal injuries and infections since they are the least likely to understand their condition and take the necessary cautions to prevent injury and infection.

On a side note, another form of CIP called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis (CIPA) causes not only a lack of pain perception, but also an inability of the body to sense cold and heat, leaving the individual incapable of regulating body temperature via sweating and shivering. Most patients with CIPA die in childhood due to heat stroke. Also, the Old Testament disease known as Leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection that destroys pain receptors in the extremities. Just as with CIP, patients with Leprosy are unable to sense injuries and infections in their hands and feet, which often leads to deterioration of the tissues.

1 comment:

Joel L said...

Wow definitely not something I would want to have. Sure it would be amazing to not have to feel an anknle sprain, a dislocated shoulder, or a burn. But not being able to realize that I bit half my tongue off, now that is just too much.