Why Do Some People Have A Higher Tolerance For Pain Than Others?

Research presented in April 2014 at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting identified 4 key genes that explain why some people have a higher and others a lower pain tolerance. Over 2700 people diagnosed with chronic pain were tested for certain genes. Nine percent had high pain tolerance, 46% moderate, and 45% low pain tolerance. The DRD1 gene variant was 33% more prevalent in the high pain tolerance group. The DR2 gene was 25% more common in patients with low pain tolerance. Two other genes also correlated. All participants were taking opioid pain medications. More studies are planned.

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Targeting B-cells Treats MS

The results of a study in which we were a site of a drug, ofatumumab, an anti-B-cell antibody, were reported at the AAN meeting. The drug showed marked reduction in MRI lesions. Patients receiving the drug had less than 1 new brain lesion per year, whereas placebo group had 16 lesions. The drug is now entering phase III trials, the last step before applying for FDA approval to market it in the United States.

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Carotid Artery Stenosis May Be Linked To Memory Problems

Also presented at the AAN annual meeting, a study of 67 people with asymptomatic 50% carotid artery stenosis and 60 people with vascular risk factors but without stenosis. Risk factors included diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. The carotid stenosis group performed significantly worse on tests for motor and processing speed, learning, and memory. Language scores did not differ. Patients with 50% asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis generally are not advised to have surgery. This strategy may change.

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Phone (714) 738-0800

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