Painless People

If we identify painless people, it should help us identify the hidden paths of pain.

Tuysuz, et al have reported in Neurogenetics. 2008 Mar 6, that congenital insensitivity to pain can be seen in those who lack the gene for neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type I. This receptor is activated by nerve growth factor. The trait is recessive, which means both parents must have one of the genes to give two doses to offspring.

There are posts elsewhere at painonline which discuss the fact that tyrosine kinase B (TrkB)is a specific for neurons which transmit pain. Presently, there are no drugs to suppress either tyrosine kinase B in specific, nor tyrosine kinase receptors in general.

Because tyrosine kinase receptors are valuable in powering nerves to sweat glands and in certain other neurologic roles, a general blocker of either Trk or the receptor would not be helpful. Rather, we need specificity. A good comparison would be drugs which block the beta2 adrenergic receptor, rather than block beta 1 as well.

We have spoken before about the importance of energy supply in the body in determining the progress of chemical reactions. Energy is supplied by kinases and taken away by phosphatases. The kinases which energize pain cascade pathways need intense study to stop the nightmarish sensations of central pain.