New research to be presented next week at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia suggests the presence of a genetic link to variability in pain tolerance among different individuals. If confirmed, the findings may provide an objective way to understand pain tolerance variances, and facilitate the development of more effective and better targeted pain therapies.
A total of 2,712 patients with chronic pain conditions were evaluated for the study. All were taking prescription opioid pain medications. A correlation between 4 genes, COMT, DRD2, DRD1 and OPRK1, and reported pain perception was noted in a significant portion of the study group. The researchers found that the DRD1 gene variant was 33%more prevalent in the low pain group than in the high pain group. Among people with a moderate pain perception, the COMT and OPRK variants were 25% and 19% more often found than in those with a high pain perception. The DRD2 variant was 25%more common among those with a high pain perception.
Read a news story about the findings here.