According to an article on the A Way With Pain website, chronic pain may be inherited.
UK researchers say that four common chronic pain conditions share a genetic element, suggesting they could – at least in part – be inherited diseases.
The four include irritable bowel syndrome, musculoskeletal pain, pelvic pain and dry eye disease.
The study of more than 8,000 sets of twins found the ailments were common in identical pairs sharing the same DNA. This has truly fascinated me as I am a twin and although my twin does not share exactly the same diseases as me she does suffer from musculoskeletal pains.
The King’s College London team say the discovery could ultimately help with managing these debilitating diseases.
While environmental factors probably still play a role in the four conditions, genes could account for as much as two-thirds of someone’s chances of developing the disease, they believe.
They told the journal Pain that more research is needed to pinpoint the precise genes involved.
The team at King’s College London decided to study identical and non-identical twins because these two groups provide an ideal comparison for investigating inherited genes – identical twins share the same DNA while non-identical twins do not (that’s me).
Lead investigator Dr Frances Williams said: “This study is one of the first to examine the role of genetic and environmental factors in explaining the links between different chronic pain syndromes. The findings have clearly suggested that chronic pain may be heritable within families. With further research, these findings could then lead to therapies which may change the lives of those suffering with chronic pain.”