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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