Have a low pain threshold? You might be part Neanderthal – CNN

Many of us are part Neanderthal, with our genes bring traces of previous encounters between our early ancestors and the Stone Age hominins that populated Europe until around 40,000 years ago.Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and Swedens Karolinska Institutet think we can also associate our discomfort thresholds to our Neanderthal DNA.Researchers studied questionnaires on pain from more than 362,000 people in the United Kingdom. The group then compared the reactions with a persons gene profile, and determined that people who had the Neanderthal variant of an ion channel experienced pain more frequently than those who did not. This channel passes ions, like salt or potassium, across the cell membrane, developing a current and allowing a cell to fire an electrical impulse, or a “pain signal.” The biggest aspect for how much pain individuals report is their age. Carrying the Neanderthal version of the ion channel, nevertheless, makes an individual experience more pain– similar to if they were 8 years older, scientists explained in a paper published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. “The Neanderthal version of the ion channel carries 3 amino acid distinctions to the common, modern-day variant,” Hugo Zeberg, a scientist at limit Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Karolinska Institutet, stated in a declaration.”While single amino acid alternatives do not affect the function of the ion channel, the complete Neanderthal variant carrying 3 amino acid substitutions leads to heightened discomfort sensitivity in contemporary people.”There were other versions in ion channels not from Neanderthals, Zeberg informed CNN, and not everyone with a low pain limit might attribute it to a link to the hominins. Previous research studies show that all of us likely have a bit of Neanderthal in our DNA. Zeberg said, nevertheless, that such an occurrence is “geographically localized” and common in less than 1% in individuals with European origins, 10% in East Asia and reaching 40% in some populations in Central and South America. Ultimately, the discovery might help establish drugs, with clients being used exact treatment strategies according to their genetic versions, the scientists said.”We all understand that some individuals metabolize drugs quickly, and others metabolize more gradually. In the future, I believe, medical doctors will incorporate that sort of details some day, to the client,” Zeberg informed CNN.

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