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The woman who doesn't feel pain



 Jo Cameron Image copyright
Jo Cameron

Image caption

Jo Cameron (left) was 65 when she realized she was different
                

Jo Cameron only realizes her skin is burning when she smells singed flesh. She often burns her arms on the floor, but no pain to warn here.

That's because she is one of only two people known to have a rare genetic mutation.

It means she feels virtually no pain, and never feels anxious or afraid.

It wasn't until she was 65 she was different ̵

1; when doctors couldn't believe she didn't need painkillers after a serious operation.

When she had surgery on her hand, doctors warned her she should expect pain afterwards.

When she felt nothing, here anesthetist – Dr. Devjit Srivastava – sent here to pain geneticists at University College London (UCL) and Oxford University.

After tests, they found gene mutations which meant that she did not feel like most people.

Not just 'incredibly healthy'

Your duty BBC Scotland News that doctors didn't believe here when she didn't need pain relief after surgery.

She said: "We had banter before theater when I guaranteed no need painkillers.

" When he found I hadn't had any, he checked my medical history and found I had never asked for painkillers. "

That's when she was referred to specialists in England.

Image copyright
Jo Cameron

Image caption

Well, pictured here with her husband and mother
                

Once diagnosed, it is true that she wasn't just incredibly healthy, as she'd believed.

She said: "Looking back, I really need painkillers, but if you don't need to ask why you don't.

" points it out you don't question it. I was just a happy soul who didn't realize there was anything different about me. "

She didn't even feel pain during childbirth, recalling:" It was just strange, but I didn't have pain. It was quite enjoyable really. "

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Media caption Woman who feels no pain takes part in chilli challenge

Along with her husband Jim and her anesthetist Dr. Devjit Srivastava, Jo took part in a chilli challenge.

While the two men reacted to the heat of the chilli, you keep smiling – unfazed by the spice. Anything but pain is important and says: "Pain is there for a reason, it warns you – you hear alarm bells.

"It would be nice to have warning when something went wrong – I didn't know my hip was gone until it was really gone, I couldn't physically walk with my arthritis."

The happy gene

Doctors believe she might also be able to heal more quickly than normal. This particular combination of genes also makes her forgetful and less anxious.

"It's called the happy gene or forgetful gene. I've been annoying people by being happy and forgetful all my life – I've got excuse now," she said.

Jo said recently she had a "minor bump" in the car, but was unmoved by what many would have found in upsetting experience.

"I don't have adrenaline. You should have that warning, it's part of being human, but I wouldn't change it."

The other driver, she said, was "shaking like anything", but she was able to stay calm. "I don't get that reaction … it's not good, the fear just doesn't happen."

Could Jo's genes hold the key to helping others?

The researchers say it's possible there are more people like Jo.

"One out of two patients after surgery today still experiences moderate to severe pain, despite all advances in pain killer medications. It remains to be seen if any new treatments could be developed based on our findings," said Dr Srivastava. 19659007] "The findings point to a novel painkiller that could potentially sacrifice post-surgical pain relief and also accelerate wound healing. We can help the 330 million patients who undergo surgery globally every year."


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Jo's case is the subject of a paper published in the British Journal of Anesthesia, written by Dr. Srivastava and Dr. James Cox, or UCL.

Dr Cox said: "People with rare insensitivity to pain can be valuable to medical research as we learn how their genetic mutations impact how they experience pain, so we would encourage anyone who does not experience pain to come forward." "We hope that with time, our findings might contribute to clinical research for post-operative pain and anxiety, and potentially chronic pain, PTSD and wound healing."


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