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They discover why women more than men resist pain

The research team has discovered a key that can lead us to a better understanding of how men and women feel pain.

Scientists believe that one of the driving forces of chronic pain is the memory of previous pain. Research published on Thursday in Current Biology suggests that there are gender-based differences in how pain resembles both mice and humans.

A research team led by colleagues at McGill University and Toronto Mississauga in Canada found that men (and male mice) clearly remember previous painful experiences.

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Consequently they were stressed and hypersensitive to the resulting pain when they returned to the place where they had previously experienced it.

It seems that women (and women) did not feel stress due to their previous pain. Researchers believe that the translational nature of the results, from mice to men, will help scientists find the future treatment of chronic pain. It was a discovery that was completely surprised.

"We intend to make an attempt to see the sensitivity to pain in mice and find that these differences in stress levels are between men and women's mice," explains the lead author of the study, Jeffrey Mogil, a professor of pain studies at the Psychology Department of McGill and Alan Edwards center for pain research.

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And she continues: "So we decided to extend the experiment to people to see if the results were similar." We were surprised when we saw the same differences between men and women as we had seen in mice.

"It was even more surprising that men responded more because it is believed that women are more sensitive to pain than men and that they are generally more stressful," explains Loren Martin, the first author of the article and docent Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

In experiments with humans and mice, subjects (41 men and 38 women aged between 18 and 40 years in the case of a person) were taken to a specific room (or in a certain way placed in a test vessel, depending on the pain caused by heat, which were given to the back leg or forearm.

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People rated a degree of pain on a scale of 100 points and mice evaluated the pain by how quickly they moved away from the heat source.

Immediately after initial low-pain experiences, subjects experienced more severe pain, which was designed to act as a Pauline stimulus.

People were asked to wear a tightly inflated blood pressure cuff and perform their hands for 20 minutes.

This is unbearable, and only 7 out of 80 subjects reached less than 50 on a 100-point scale. Each mouse received a diluted injection of vinegar, which caused gastric pain for about 30 minutes.


In order to observe the role of memory in experiencing pain, the next day the person returned to the same room or another room, to the same room or to another testing room. Once again, the heat applied to his hands or hind legs.

When (and only when) they were taken to the same place as in the previous test, men estimated pain due to heat that was higher than the previous day, and higher than women. Similarly, male mice, but not those who have returned to the same environment, have shown a greater response to pain due to heat, while rodents installed in a new and neutral environment are not.

"We believe that mice and men expected a cuff or vinegar, and for men, the stress of this expectation caused greater sensitivity to pain," says Mogil, "was the reason that we expected greater sensitivity to pain. The second day, but there was no reason, to expect it to be specific to men, which was a complete surprise. "

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To confirm that the pain increased as a result of memories of previous pain, researchers intervened in memory by injecting the male mice brain with a medicine called ZIP, which is known to block memory. When scientists carried out an experiment with imprint of pain, these mice did not show signs of pain.

"This is an important finding because more and more evidence is showing that chronic pain is a problem until you remember it, and this study is for the first time to show the memory of pain using a translation approach, rodents and people," says Martin , who is also a Canadian second-grade researcher in Translational Pain Research.

He adds: "If you remember that pain is the driving force of chronic pain and we understand how pain can be remembered, we can help some patients with the direct treatment of memory mechanisms." "This study supports the idea that the memory of pain can affect later pain," Mogil concludes with Informe 21 information.

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