Monday, December 10, 2012


When we stub our toe, we spew out profanity because of the intense pain we feel at that moment. We do the same when we get a nasty paper cut on our knuckles or even worse, break our ankle from riding our bicycle into the mailbox. Pain let's us know that we're alive. As much as we wish these events did not happen to us, imagine living a life feeling no pain at all.

As we dream at night, we feel no pain because we are in another state of consciousness. That is almost what people with CIPA feel like. CIPA stands for congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. It is a very, very rare inherited disorder that affects the nervous system. People born with CIPA cannot feel pain, heat, cold or any other sensations that are nerve related. Due to lack of feeling pain, it is very easy for people with CIPA to get hurt and not even realize it. People with normal pain sensing nerves can usually prevent themselves from getting minor injuries because the unpleasant feeling stops them. Pain signals do not transmit throughout the bodies of people with CIPA therefore they are much more prone to injury.

CIPA is caused by a gene mutation that prevents the nerve cells responsible for transmitting pain from forming. More than half of children with CIPA die before the age of 3 due to over heating.

Girl living with CIPA

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