Friday, October 17, 2014

"super hero disorder" or CIPA (congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis)

Yesterday my friends and I were talking about sensitivity, one of our friends has less than average sensitivity over most of her body and at some point the subject of "super hero disorder" or CIPA, congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis came up. we don't really think about how much we use our sense of touch, both pain and pressure for nearly every thing we do. In the article I read on focused on a 5 year old boy named Isaac who feels no pain. Things that are not even consciously thought about for most people prove to be mind boggling concepts for Isaac, for example he is unable to grasp the concept of weight. Isaac's parents have been able to teach him what he needs to get by such, mostly through trial and error, such as glass, knives, and other sharp things will cut you, heat will burn you and too much pressure will hurt you. But while the threshold between pressure and pain is some thing we don't even have to cognitively process it is a notion that proves allusive to Isaac. His parents have to react audibly in the even where he perceives there may be damage done too his body. The article talks of one such incident when Isaac reacted with sounds of pain when his cat brushed up against him because he assumed that all pressure caused pain and damage. Researchers are looking for a cure and a reason for this illness however it is a daunting task they think it is a miss coded gene the issue is where. Dr. Stephen Waxman described it as "a gene has thousands of letters in it. Its like a string of beads, the sodium channel is a string of 2,000 beads and one of them is wrong. one gene out of 30,000." Hopefully there will be a cure for this disorder in the future but for now people just have to learn to survive day to day life with such a severe disability.                                


  1. This was really interesting to read and hear about. I have always been interested in our sense of touch, especially about how pain and pressure differes from one individual to another. I didn't know there is a disorder that could genetically affect someone's sensitivity or lack of it to pain and pressure.

  2. I had heard of this before, but I didn't realize it could affect pressure sensations as well. Thinking about it, though, it makes sense since pain really is pressure. Very interesting!

  3. This is a really cool article. It's so interesting to see the child attempting to learn how to react "normally" to things that he cannot experience. Even though he doesn't feel the pain he still wants to be able to react appropriately to it.