Italian Family Feels No Pain

Italian Family Feels No Pain

Scientists have identified a mysterious genetic mutation that effectively negates the sensation of pain, enabling people with the rare anomaly to persevere effortlessly through extreme physical discomfort.

The gene variant – identified in an Italian family who feels almost no pain even when seriously injured…

[ references at end of post ]

Unfortunately a lot of individuals feel no pain when God attempts to bless them with repentance.1

Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption!

They have forsaken the Lord ; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Why should you be beaten anymore?

Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness- only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. (Isaiah 1:4-6) 


Of course many feel the pain of God’s disciple but fail to be trained by it.

In short, their discipline was waste of time and resulted in ever deeper, though often masked, sins.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11) 

_____________________________________________________________________ ~ opinion unto righteousness ~ timothy williams
[proverbs 18:2]

Concept of
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Article Reference

(—That family, the Marsilis, go about their daily lives with something much like a real-life superpower, thanks to a rare genetic point mutation spanning at least three generations.

The mutation means they feel little or no pain from things like burns or broken bones, to the point where they don’t always actually realise when they’ve been hurt.

“Sometimes they feel pain in the initial break but it goes away very quickly,” Cox told New Scientist.

“For example, [52-year-old] Letizia broke her shoulder while skiing, but then kept skiing for the rest of the day and drove home. She didn’t get it checked out until the next day.”

The variant shared by the family was isolated in the Marsilis’ DNA from blood samples, and is located in a gene called ZFHX2.

While it’s not entirely clear how the mutation works, the team hypothesises that the variant disrupts how ZFHX2 regulates other genes that have been linked to pain signalling.

That disruption gives the Marsilis what’s known as congenital insensitivity to pain, but their phenotype is so remarkable the researchers have named a whole sub-type of the condition, ‘Marsili syndrome’, after the family.

In the Marsilis’ case, the blessing can also be a curse, as the failure to accurately interpret what pain represents can mean they’re not aware of serious injuries that might need medical attention.

For example, Letizia Marsili’s 24-year-old son, Ludovico, plays football, and the condition masks injuries incurred by the sport.

“He rarely stays on the ground, even when he is knocked down. However, he has fragility at the ankles and he often suffers distortions, which are micro fractures,” Letizia Marsili told the BBC.

“In fact, recently X-rays have shown that he has lots of micro fractures in both ankles.”

Other family members have experienced similar problems, with Letizia’s 78-year-old mother experiencing fractures that are only much later diagnosed, meaning they harden naturally but do not heal properly.

The mutation also affects their ability to detect extreme temperatures, putting them at greater risk of burning themselves, or failing to register things like ice water.

Despite the risks inherent in feeling no pain, the family seems grateful to be missing out on what is a source of misery for so many others.

“From day to day we live a very normal life, perhaps better than the rest of the population, because we very rarely get unwell and we hardly feel any pain,” Letizia told the BBC.

“However, in truth, we do feel pain, the perception of pain, but this only lasts for a few seconds.”

Once the researchers isolated the ZFHX2 mutation by way of exome sequencing, the team used animal experiments to see how the variant affects pain processing in mice.

Animals bred to not have the gene at all showed reduced pain sensitivity when pressure was applied to their tails, but were still receptive to high heat.

When other mice were bred to possess the ZFHX2 mutation, they exhibited the same low sensitivity to high heat that the Marsilis have – something the team is hopeful may provide new directions into treatments for millions who live with chronic pain daily.

“By identifying this mutation and clarifying that it contributes to the family’s pain insensitivity, we have opened up a whole new route to drug discovery for pain relief,” says one of the researchers, Anna Maria Aloisi from the University of Siena in Italy.