Chronic pain is a massive, underrecognized problem. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Health, 11.2 percent of American surveyed had suffered from some kind of pain every day for the last three months. And, as the opioid addiction epidemic has doctors prescribing fewer high-strength painkillers over the long term, the struggle of people with chronic pain conditions has gotten even more difficult.
It doesn’t help that pain is such a complicated subject, with mechanisms we don’t totally understand yet and no real way to compare people’s pain levels. “The experience of pain is subjective,” Richard Nahin, one of the NIH study’s authors, said in a press release. “It’s not surprising then that the data show varied responses to pain even in those with similar levels of pain.”
But with the discovery of Marsili syndrome, scientists think they may be closer to understanding the fundamentals of pain, and how to treat it. As Dr. Abdella Habib, the study’s first author, told The Independent, “We hope that our findings and the subsequent research projects will help find better treatments for the millions of people worldwide who experience chronic pain and don’t get relief from existing drugs.”
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