Some people could live without pain — no pain in the head, throat, teeth and so on. However, pain play in our lives a big role, warning of health problems. If there were no pain, we could break your leg for a whole day to pass with an open fracture, an infection and die the most absurd death. According to scientists, this is a saving sense first originated from ancient fish, and then all other living organisms. Recently, it was found that our ancestors felt the pain much stronger than we are. Based on this arises at least two questions: why they were more susceptible to pain and why they needed it? The answers to this question took scientists from Germany and Sweden.
The mechanism of the pain
What is pain? If we talk about physical pain, in the dictionaries it is described as “an unpleasant sensation that warns of a real or prospective tissue damage”. All our body consists of a huge number of cells, and it’s not just about us covering the skin, but the covering of our internal organs. So the cells can communicate with each other, inside of them is the so-called ion channels. With the ability of cells to share information with each other, we can feel the shapes of objects to determine their temperature and other properties.
So, imagine that you were cooking lunch, I accidentally cut my finger and abruptly withdrew his hand. What happened in that moment? It’s pretty simple — sensitive cells gave the nerve impulse to the spinal cord, which instantly recognized the danger and gave the command to draw back his hand. But after the cut, the person still continues to feel pain. This is due to the fact that ion channels continue to transmit information, but the brain — so we understand what and how we have hurt and still requires attention. If this pain was not, we could accidentally damage the affected area.
Bad advice: Curses help to better endure the pain
A life without pain
In the development of ionic channels and the other responsible for the pain parts of the elements of the body, responsible genes. As we know, they kept the instructions on how to grow the organism: what should be the color of hair, skin tone, height and so on. On pain sensitivity genes also influence — for example, if a person has found the change involved in perception of pain SCN9A gene, he will not feel fractures and other injuries. Such people are able to touch to determine the temperature of objects and their form that seriously injured they simply do not feel.
See also: the Woman has lived a life without pain because of genetic changes
People with defects in this gene are few, but they are still there. One of the most famous is born in 1981 Steven Pete and his brother Christopher. Steven’s parents sensed something was wrong when their son began to blood chew their own language recently protezavimo teeth. Take him to the hospital, they learned that their child has a congenital insensitivity to pain. Some time later, Stephen’s younger brother was born with the same peculiarity.
You’d think their life was one of the most carefree in history. But no — because of the inability to feel warning pain, they got in big trouble. So, once matured, Stephen worked with the saw and accidentally cut her hand. Because of insensitivity to pain, he did not go to the hospital and stitched the hand alone. And such cases had a lot — he developed many diseases because of which he is to amputate some limbs. His brother Christopher also had a lot of similar cases and when he found out about the risk to be confined to a wheelchair, committed suicide.
The life of Neanderthals
As you can see, physical pain is extremely necessary for our survival. Perhaps that is why our ancestors it was very well developed. They lived in a very dangerous time and these abilities like quick withdrawal of the hand from a hot or sharp object was vital. And to find out about a low pain threshold for German and Swedish scientists have managed by studying their genes. It turned out that their ion channels is easier and faster intensify under external forcing. Because of this, it was concluded that they are stronger than we feel pain.
One of the authors of the scientific work of Svante Paabo (Svante Paabo) admits a small probability that they are wrong. The fact that our ancestors, nerve impulses and sent to the spinal cord and the brain. It is possible that the pain somehow managed to “filter” and the Neanderthals felt pain the same as we are not stronger and not weaker.
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Speaking about our ancestors, we are talking about Neanderthals, which was formed about 150 thousand years ago. The reason for their extinction is still unknown, but about 40 thousand years ago they existed at the limit of their possibilities. One of the theories for the extinction of the Neanderthals wrote my colleague Daria Yelets — I recommend right now to engage in its reading material.