Congenital Analgesia Case Study

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The purpose of my paper is to discuss the history of Congenital Analgesia and its presence in the human body. Congenital Analgesia, also referred to as Congenital Insensitivity to Pain or CIP, is a rare neurological disorder of the nervous system that prevents a person from being able to feel pain. Congenital Analgesia results from the “lack of ion channels that transport sodium across sensory nerves. Without these channels, nerve cells are unable to communicate pain” (Hamzelou, 2015, p. 1). While the body does not respond to extreme changes in temperature or bodily harm and damage, those with Congenital Analgesia can still process normal sensations such as body-to-body contact or joint movement. Throughout history there have been reported…show more content…
144). He had also sustained several other injuries over the course of his life, including a blow to the face from a pickaxe, a bullet through a finger, and a burned hand - all with an indifference to pain (Westlake, 1952, p. 144). After Dr. Dearborn’s case study, various terms were used to describe these individuals, including “‘congenital universal insensitiveness to pain’ (Ford and Wilkins, 1938), ‘congenital universal indifference to pain’ (Boyd and Nie, 1949), and ‘congenital absence of pain’ (Winkelmann et al., 1962)” (Nagasako, Oaklander, & Dworkin, 2003, p. 214). From 1950-1970, two terms were used to describe Congenital Analgesia and were considered interchangeable: ‘congenital insensitivity to pain’ and ‘congenital indifference to pain’ (Nagasako et al., 2003, p. 213). Now, each of the two terms have distinct meanings and are used to distinguish between different groups of individuals. Those who experience congenital insensitivity to pain are unable to perceive sensations of pain at all, whereas those with congenital indifference to pain can sense painful stimuli but are…show more content…
Congenital Analgesia has been present in individuals for several centuries, but the first medial case study was not performed until 1932 by Dr. Dearborn, on a man that had referred to himself as a human pincushion. This case study was described as a ‘Case of Congenital Pure Analgesia’ and led to many further studies and the creation of different terms to describe Congenital Analgesia. With access to more sophisticated technology, experiments have now been completed to determine the cause of Congenital Analgesia and allow doctors to have a better understanding of the disorder and its effects on each

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