The Strange but True Story of Joanne Cameron, the Woman Who Cannot Feel Pain Due to a Rare Genetic Mutation

  ”Pain” is one of the necessary sensations that people rely on for survival. It is like a sensitive and efficient early warning system, reminding people to pay attention to physical diseases and injuries all the time. However, for Scotland’s “Painless Man” Joanne Cameron, her pain-sensing mechanism seems to have “failed”. She has never felt any form of pain in her life. In case of burns, cuts, and feel no pain.
  She went into labor without anesthesia, and the whole process was “like a ‘click'”. Even the anxiety and fear that ordinary people would have never appeared in her body. Usually, people long for a life without pain. Although Joanne can’t feel pain, she has unknown distress. So, what kind of human body secrets does her body contain?
  Painless troubles, hurting people and not hurting the body
  Joanne was born in Glasgow, Scotland, her parents are ordinary working-class. Although the family is not rich, but the family still live happily.
  When Joanne was 1 year old, her mother, Aaliyah, noticed something strange about her daughter. One day, Joanne’s face was flushed and she had a high fever, but she didn’t look uncomfortable. Aaliyah sent her to the hospital. After the doctor administered antipyretic injections, she found that Joanne was not sweating. In desperation, I can only rely on drinking a lot of water to lower my body temperature.
  How can she not sweat? The doctor judged that the child’s situation needs further observation, and she may have painless anhidrosis, which is a hereditary sensory and autonomic disorder syndrome, which is relatively rare.
  Generally speaking, people who are congenitally incapable of pain are also insensitive to temperature, so not only do children not feel when they have a fever, but they may not respond if they are burned. Aaliyah was a little suspicious of the doctor’s words, because the whole family had never had such a person.
  However, as Joanne grew up, Aaliyah felt more and more that something was wrong. One day, when Aaliyah lifted the quilt for Joanne, she noticed that her wrist was bleeding.
  Where did this blood come from? Aaliyah looked carefully and found that Joanne’s teeth and lips also had blood, so she bit herself! Ordinarily, such a small child would definitely cry in pain if he bit his hand, but Joanne didn’t cry or fuss, and opened a pair of lovely big eyes, as if nothing happened. What’s going on?
  In order to prevent Joanne from biting herself again, Aaliyah took care of her daughter all day long, but accidents still inevitably happened. One day at noon, Aaliyah was concentrating on making pizza when she heard a “bang” and saw Joanne accidentally spilling a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and the hot water splashed on her instep, which turned red immediately !
  Fortunately, the cup of coffee was not too much, otherwise it would burn a large area. Aaliyah was in a hurry to deal with it urgently, and Joanne didn’t say a word during the whole process! A child would cry loudly if he was burned, but Joanne didn’t respond. Is it true that, as the doctor said, Joanne was born without pain?
  The doctor told Aaliyah that the congenital lack of pain will make the patient unable to avoid danger normally, so we must always pay attention to the child’s condition. Since then, Aaliyah has taken Joanne for a full-body check-up every six months.
  Time flies, Joanne is 7 years old in a blink of an eye, she is smart, lively and cute! But Aaliyah is sweating for her daughter all the time. Since Joanne doesn’t feel pain, she is always not discovered until long after the injury.
  One day, Aaliyah noticed that Joanne walked in a strange way, with her arms hanging down. Arya touched her daughter and noticed that her arm was out of shape. “Did you wrestle today?” Alia looked anxiously at her daughter, and Joanne nodded.
  Immediately, Aaliyah took her daughter to the hospital. After examination, Joanne broke a bone! A broken arm should be very painful, especially when the bone is set, children usually cry out because of the extreme pain, but Joanne’s calmness surprised the doctor.
  Joanne returned to school in a bandage, and her classmates asked her if it hurt. She said: “I don’t know what pain is, what kind of feeling is that?” Gradually, everyone knew that Joanne was a “magical” person, because she was not afraid of pain!
  The most famous thing is that when Joanne was a sophomore in high school, she participated in the “Not Afraid of Spicy Contest” held by the community to earn extra money to supplement her family. Scottish cap peppers are notoriously spicy. At the game site, 10 peppers were placed in front of everyone’s eyes. It’s a miracle that one of these peppers can be eaten, let alone 10.
  Because the cap pepper is so spicy, some contestants burst into tears at the beginning, and some contestants dared not continue after taking a few bites. Joanne was not in a hurry. She took a small bite first, and then took a big bite. It was as light and delicious as eating green vegetables, fragrant and tender. A big chili was eaten by her in an instant, and then she grabbed a second one.
  The judges were stunned. They had never seen anyone who ate peppers like fruits. No matter how much capsaicin stimulated her nerves, Joanne didn’t feel any tingling from the hotness, the only feeling was “a little warmth in her mouth”. In the cheers and exclamation of the crowd, Joanne is the well-deserved chili champion!
  After the awards ceremony, a handsome boy named Oric expressed his love to her. Under the power of love, they were also admitted to the same university. However, when all the classmates were optimistic about them, their love came to an end.
  Painless love, helping others is the foundation of happiness
  . It turns out that Oric is an insecure person. If Joanne is slow to reply to his messages, or does not take the initiative to find him for a long time, Oric will feel uneasy. In order to “take revenge” on Joanne, Oric neither responded to the message nor took the initiative to find her.
  Oric thought that Joanne would be like other girls, who would feel emotional anxiety and even pain when they suddenly disconnected, but Joanne didn’t have it at all. Oric asked her: “Don’t you feel sad because you miss me?”
  Joanne paused and said: “Honey, I don’t feel the sadness you said, I thought you were busy with your own things No time to take care of me.” Oric finally decided to break up: “I didn’t expect you to be so ruthless and completely devoid of empathy.”
  The first love failed, and her girlfriend Linda came to see her, but Joanne was not sad. Linda said enviously: “It’s so nice to be like you! You know what? Failure in love can cause unbearable pain, and some people even have chest pains from excessive grief.”
  After hearing Linda’s words, Joanne was surprised. She has seen the painful appearance of broken love from books and movies and TV dramas, but she really does not have “that muscle”.
  Soon after, many female classmates knew about it. Some people even said that Joanne couldn’t feel the pain because she was lacking in heart, and some even said that she was a silly elder sister.
  Ever since she was a child, Joanne has been talked about a lot because she doesn’t feel pain. She just wanted to get rid of these troubles. As she was walking, she passed an amateur boxing club where a boxing match was being held. Seeing newcomers joining, the crowd on the field became even more excited.
  Joanne’s opponent is called Abna, who is tall and burly, and has won two games in a row. Abna looked down at Joanne contemptuously, not paying attention to her at all. At the beginning of the match, Abna took the lead and flew directly to Joanne’s face with a heavy punch. Joanne didn’t have time to dodge, and the punch hit her face firmly. With a bang, Joanne fell to the ground.

  Abna raised her hands excitedly, she knew that no one would be able to get back up after this punch. However, Joanne actually stood up! The audience also fell silent for a moment. Abna threw her fist at Joanne again, but Joanne stood up again, and the audience gasped in amazement!
  In this regard, Joanne also felt very helpless. She originally wanted to feel the pain, but she didn’t feel any pain at all. As Joanne stood up again and again. Abna began to fear, and when she punched again, the force was much weaker. Joanne saw an opportunity and kicked Abna hard, causing Abna to fall to the stage.
  Joanne actually won, which was the biggest upset in the boxing ring. All of a sudden, Joanne, who “is not afraid of beatings, is not afraid of pain!”, has become a man of the hour again!
  One day, a cowardly classmate was bullied by several rich classmates, Joanne immediately stepped forward, and those rich boys ran away in desperation. Joanne couldn’t help but feel a kind of pride in her heart. Although she couldn’t feel the “pain”, she could help others relieve the pain. Isn’t it better! Since then, she has helped many classmates, and her boldness has won the love and respect of the classmates!
  Not only that, Joanne’s “painless” has saved more lives.
  After graduating from college, Joanne worked as a physical education teacher in a middle school. One day, when Joanne was in physical education class, a group of gangsters broke into the campus and kidnapped one of her students.
  The gangster held a steel knife and didn’t take Joanne seriously. But he never expected that Joanne rushed over. He instinctively pushed hard, and the blade pierced Joanne’s palm in an instant, but she was not afraid at all, and hit the gangster’s chest with a palm. The gangster was so angry that he stabbed her shoulder with a dagger, and blood flowed down the sleeve. When she came out, despite being covered in blood, she finally grabbed the dagger with her bare hands, just as the police arrived.
  Joanne became a hero. After being sent to the hospital, the doctors in the emergency room treated her wound urgently, but what is surprising is that, facing such a deep knife wound and bleeding so much, Joanne not only did not The doctors were amazed that the wound healed quickly after she fainted due to excessive blood loss.
  During her hospitalization, a male teacher at the school named Amos came to take care of her every day. He witnessed the scene of Joanne fighting the gangsters, and he admired her very much. Amos is considerate to Joanne. Gradually, they fell in love with each other, and after being discharged from the hospital, they became lovers.
  During the relationship, Amos gradually learned that Joanne was born to be “painless”. Although on the surface she is not afraid of pain and looks like a woman, she has been living in potential danger since she was born. After listening to Joanne’s confession, Amos felt a sense of responsibility from the bottom of his heart, and he wanted to protect Joanne well.
  A year later, they were married. Because Joanne feels no pain, she rarely experiences anxiety and fear, so she has always been in a relatively peaceful state of mind.
  Although Joanne seems to be a little less “feminine” in this way, she can make the marriage relationship full of flexibility with her emotional stability, and their life is sweet and warm!
  And Amos, like Joanne’s mother Alia, always pays attention to her changes. But Joanne is still “indifferent” to bumps and bumps, or even bleeding.
  The most exaggerated thing is that one weekend evening, Joanne was frying steak. Due to carelessness, a fire splashed on her back, and the clothes were burning. Amos happened to see it, and he quickly put out the fire for Joanne. Only then did they discover that the fire not only burned a hole in Joanne’s clothes, but also almost scorched the skin on Joanne’s back, but she didn’t notice it.
  Since then, Amos has been more concerned about Joanne, and what worries him most is the pregnancy. Since Joanne didn’t feel pain, they decided to go to the best hospital to welcome the baby’s birth.
  Soon, Joanne’s labor period came, and because the fetus was relatively large, a cesarean section was required. After being admitted to the delivery room, Joanne said that no anesthetic was needed during the operation. The doctor was stunned when he heard that. The pain of childbirth is classified as severe pain. No one can bear it without anesthesia. Amos said eagerly: “Honey, why don’t you still take anesthesia? What if a burst of pain expresses your pain?”
  In the medical field, according to the degree of pain, it can be divided into 10 grades: grade 0 is no pain, grade 0 to grade 3 is mild pain, grade 4 will affect sleep, grade 4 to grade 6 is moderate pain, grade 7 You will be unable to sleep, severe pain above 7, and severe pain at 10. The pain of childbirth is level 10, how can Joanne bear it without anesthesia?
  But Joanne did it. During the whole delivery process, Joanne didn’t feel any pain. She said: “It turned out that the process of giving birth was not painful at all, but there was a slight pulling feeling, like being ‘creaked’. ”
  Joanne’s “painless feeling” attracted the attention of Professor Archibald, a pain expert at University College London. He felt that there must be an innate “superpower” hidden in Joanne, so he decided to study in depth. Solve the mystery.
  The secret of painlessness, the painless life also has love
  Archibald searched a lot of information, and he found that there are still several cases of “painless people” in the world. There is a female doctor in Canada. Not only does she feel no pain when she cuts her skin, but she also feels no pain at all when it comes to electric shocks, nasal insertion, and acupuncture.
  Vermont Krieger from Ohio, USA, has been performing stunts that are not afraid of pain and death for 25 years. He can sandwich his lying body between two bed of nails filled with spikes. The sharp ends of the nails pierced his back and abdomen respectively, and a 1,650-pound stone is pressed on him, but Vermont can stand it completely. Stop, hum and don’t hum.
  Gorby Kinras from Minnesota, USA is also a “girl who is not afraid of pain”. Ever since she was born, no matter whether she lost her teeth in a fall or received an injection from a doctor, she never cried. What makes people sad is that because little Gobi couldn’t feel pain, he unconsciously inserted his fingers directly into his eyes when rubbing his eyes. When the doctor completely sutured his eyelids, little Gobi didn’t feel any pain.
  In Xiuning County, Anhui Province, China, there is a girl named Jin Chen. She often bites her tongue and fingers. Although the blood is dripping, there is no pain; , she still looks composed.
  So, what is the cause of these pain-free people? Archibald fell into deep thought. The next day, he came to Joanne and pressed her eye sockets hard with his fingers-this operation would not hurt, but the pain caused was enough to wake up the sleeping patient. However, Joanne still didn’t feel any pain, all she felt was the tactile sensation of pressure.
  At first, Archibald examined Joanne’s brain. Because usually the lack of pain may result from a lesion in the brain. However, upon examination, Joanne’s brain was completely normal. Then Archibald tested Joanne’s genes again. After in-depth research, he found that Joanne’s immune mechanism to pain is particularly unique.
  In her genome, two adjacent gene mutations appeared. These two genes are related to the human body’s endocannabinoid system, and they are the source of Joanne’s “superpowers”!
  The human body naturally produces some neurotransmitters similar to cannabinoids, which play an important role in regulating pain perception, mood and memory. After these neurotransmitters have done their job, they are broken down by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) so that balance can be maintained.

  The endogenous cannabinoid system plays a regulatory role in key physiological processes such as mood, pain, and sleep, and Joanne’s first mutation occurred in the gene corresponding to this hydrolase. The mutation reduces the activity of the enzyme, making it difficult for the neurotransmitter to be broken down. As a result, the balance of neurotransmitters was disrupted, and her endocannabinoid levels became extraordinarily high, which in turn had the effect of suppressing pain and anxiety.
  However, this one mutation alone was not enough to make her completely immune to pain. Her second genetic mutation occurred in a gene called “FAAH-OUT”. This gene controls the expression of the hydrolase gene FAAH, and when it is inactive, cells produce significantly less enzyme. It was the superposition of these two gene mutations that made pain completely disappear from Joanne’s life.
  Subsequently, Archibald published an article in the “British Journal of Anesthesiology” that Joanne’s “painless life” was caused by a special gene mutation in her body. This is also the first time scientists have discovered a “painless pseudogene”. A gene refers to a gene that is similar to a normal gene sequence but has lost its original function. The researchers believe that new treatments for pain, wound healing and anxiety may be developed on this basis in the future.
  Joanne’s painless mystery was finally solved, and Archibald noticed the FAAH-OUT gene and what it did for the first time. These discoveries have brought him new inspiration in drug development. In the future, it may be possible to use this as a target to develop new treatments for pain control and mental illness.
  Along the way, Joanne has always been different in her heart, almost invincible. Once, she was involved in a car accident. Ordinary people would inevitably panic and be afraid, but Joanne climbed out of her car calmly, walked towards the truck driver, and softly comforted the young driver who was already trembling with fright.
  Joanne has never had anxiety, fear, or depression in her life. In the stress and depression tests given to her by scientists, she scored all zeros. This is somewhat enviable, because she doesn’t have to endure a lot of “unbearable” pain. But who has noticed that because of the lack of pain, she also suffered a lot of injuries that could have been avoided, and she was suffering without pain. This is life.
  Nearly fifty years old, she always walks with a limp, but she has no pain. It wasn’t until after an X-ray showed that her hip joint had degenerated significantly that during her hospitalization, doctors noticed that her thumb was deformed and arranged for her to undergo a second operation on both thumbs. One doctor described the excruciating pain after the operation as “unbearable”, but Joanne barely felt the pain.
  Archibald said: “In the eyes of normal people, pain-free people seem to be a special gift from God. However, pain is one of the necessary feelings for human beings to survive. It is also a kind of human self-defense. Mechanism.”
  Today, Joanne is 74 years old, and in Joanne’s family, she is the only one who is “unusual”. Her son is less sensitive to pain, but far less than Joanne. The old man is very relieved to hear that his experience can promote new gene therapy and help more people free from artificial painkillers.

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