Symptoms And Treatment Of Pain

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Pain is a vastly under treated phenomenon, causing suffering and financial losses to individuals and the society. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain can be defined as not just an unpleasant sensation however, holistically speaking, a complex sensory modality that is essential in the fight for survival. (Patel, N.B. 2010) It is thought to be a defence mechanism designed by the body, for triggering behavioural reflexes that defend against further noxious stimuli. Nociception is a neural mechanism brought about by the presence of tissue damaging stimulus however, it does not reach consciousness and therefore the perception of pain may range. This range extends from the inability to perceive pain regardless of stimuli strength, such is in the case of individuals born with genetic abnormalities to the perception of pain in amputated extremities and everything inbetween. (Shortland,P. 2016) (Patel, N.B. 2010) (McGrath,P.A. 1994)

As pain is based on inter-individual differences, it suggests various factors summate to the subjective nature. One of the most diverse factors is the genetic make up of an individual. The susceptibility to pain being up regulated or down regulated lies within Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and the heritable polygenic characteristic of pain. (Foulkes,T. 2008) The catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is known to be one of the many genes that is involved in genetic influence. This occurs because of the

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