Hopes for many battling chronic pain as scientists discover technique to silence pain gene 

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jan 05, 2020, 02.00 PM(IST) Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

File photo: A picture of a human brain taken by a positron emission tomography scanner, also called PET scan. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The technique involves altering a person's DNA in a way that pain signals are not transmitted to the spine.

Ever wonder what would it be like to have a pain-free life? Scientists have now found a way to switch off a pain-related gene, a discovery that could help people who suffering from chronic pain or other severe pain-related ailments. 

The technique involves altering a person's DNA in a way that pain signals are not transmitted to the spine.

The treatment, which is devised by a California-based startup, could get approval in the next five years. 

People suffering from chronic pain are treated with a range of medications and therapies for better pain management and to alleviate the pain. 

From anti-neuropathic, non-opioid medicines, opioid analgesics, coanalgesics to adjuvant medicines, among other modes of treatments, chronic pain management involve a host of medicinal mediums, surgical intervention, et cetera. 

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) states that some studies estimate the prevalence of chronic pain between 11 per cent to 40 per cent.

In 2016, it was estimated that around 20.4 per cent American adults suffered from chronic pain while about 8 per cent battled high-impact chronic pain.

The new technique therefore raises hopes for people with chronic pain. The technique was devised by conducting studies on mice which showed that quietening the pain gene - by altering a DNA - can cut off the transmission of pain signals to the spine.