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The Power of Two

Fight Response Decreases Pain

Published June 9, 2014 10:30 AM by Eleanor Wolfram

There are some unique cases of people who have never felt the sensation of pain due to deficiencies in the ion channel of their nerves. In other words, these nerves fail to transmit the necessary signals require to experience physical pain.

It seems that mice and rats have keen smelling depending the gender of their lab handlers they experience different gradients of pain. In recent studies animal lab scientists have recently discovered that experimental rates express lower rates of adverse reactions to painful stimuli when administered by male research assistants. A Canadian scientist noticed that these mice and rats may be able to recognize gender of the researcher by body smell of men.

The rodents in the McGill University lab were giving pain-inducing injections and upon awakening. They made less painful facial grimaces when male investigator sat in the room versus when a female researcher was present or for that matter even when the room was empty. The scientists concluded that the animals must detect the mammalian scent molecules of male versus female differences in perspiration.

It conclusion was that heighten stress levels of another male being present in is viewed as aggression and brings on the territorial/fight-flight response. More specifically, the stressed rodents’ blood levels increased the stress hormone corticosterone which reduced the pain stimuli which was administered.

The biomedical research team played around with other gender, such as sweaty T-Shirts worn the previous night by male and female rodent handlers placed in room with rodents. These variations yielded similar pain level behavioral outcomes. 

Other study conclusions equally as important are that a research outcome is affected by the experimenter. The physiological and psychological factors uncovered by this study are valuable information for all types of psychiatric, pharmaceutical and clinical trial research being conducted.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram


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