Becoming Insensitivite to Pain?



  • edited July 2016
    @Jordygordy I work with chainsaws as a certified technician for a living... Please don't even get me started. It's my job to teach new people how to properly use them, 'experts' how to properly use them, and repair them within factory tolerances. X_x

    Nobody takes a 21 year old seriously though. :c
  • @Jordygordy
    I had a guy ask me if a model rocket engine was a blunt today. I almost said yes....
  • Hahaha that's amazing!
  • What size motor? Morbid curiosity of just how bad it would have been. >0>
  • the human gene pool needs some chlorine in it, and thats all i have to say about that. 
  • VX would work better....
  • On the topic of turning pain on and off, we actually do have a natural way of doing it (look up "descending pain control pathway" and "opiates"). That would be a direction to think about (activation of the descending pain-control pathway electronically anyone?).

    The "electrical stimulation produces analgesia" bit from here looks interesting:
  • There is a thread where a person is working on making what you are talking about @ivothesquire
  • Pris, you are right!
  • @ivothesquire This seems like a temporary pain control approach, like the effect would wear off on its own? Can it be permanent?
  • @opi Have you thought about testing this on the small-scale to start with, for instance self-administering a nerve block with saline to, say, deaden your foot for a day...?

    Maybe you could try out small regions first rather than attempt something systemic / body-wide to start with.

    Honestly I've been thinking a lot about your project in the few days since I first read your post and I think this could have some incredible applications, particularly if you can find a way to keep sensation but remove pain.
  • edited August 2016
    @opi As long as the descending inhibitory pathway stays on it's not going to wear off, especially if we use the electrical approach since neurons can't exactly adapt to electric fields. It's as likely to wear off as any other descending pathways (it would be disastrous if that happens: our brains are constantly inhibiting our spinal cord every moment every day: we'd all go stiff like a paraplegic if any one of them "wears off").

    And I thought we are after methods that can be turned on and off?
  • This is a fascinating idea. Once we get proper evidence and biological reasoning as to why it would work without damaging the surface tissue, nerves, spinal pathways, and possibly even estimate the effect it would have on the brains neurons than I would be happy to give it a test myself and possibly do tests myself.

    The problem with chemical ways of doing it is that it WILL wear off. No way around it. The only thing you could do is block the nerves from responding, relaying, or in general understanding the sensation of pain, but hopefully still recognize and relay other sensations such as impact, vibration, etc. and what would be even better (imo) is to just temporarily lessen the pain felt. For instance, by overloading your brains neural receptors with special 'happy' or useless 'commands' for short, the pain sensation will be incredibly blocked/felt less. This is seen in drugs such as opiates, and even ibuprofen. That is why people smoke a blunt of medical marijuana to relieve pain, and seizures. Because if the way seizures are triggered, the very same thing that stops/prohibits the pain also blocks the seizures.

    I got a little carried away there, but hopefully you guys thought that was interesting.
    As it just so happens, that was actually my first post on this website. And as a clarification, I am no doctor or scholar. I am a kid in high school who has been interested in this very kind of thing for many years, and has been researching the human anatomy since I was a very little kid. If you want to argue with the prospects I have covered here, I certainly won't act like I know more than you, because chances are you are considerably older than I am.
  • opiopi
    edited August 2016
    @ivothesquire oh ok, so is this like you apply the electrical stimulation, pain turns off, and you can go for a few years or whatever being pain-INsensitive, and when you feel like becoming pain-Sensitive again, you go get another electrical stimulation and voila? That would be pretty cool ;)
    And Yup an on-and-off switch would definitely be better. But I thought it would be harder to find than a just-off-forever switch, so I'm (we're?) looking for either one :)

    @meanderpaul do you know where the thread is about someone building this pain pathway...thing?

    This is the thread about it. I'm not sure the progress of the project but it has some useful information in it.
  • @Meanderpaul A skim read of that thread tells me that is very different to what I was talking about. I'm talking about stimulating an pathway that inhibits pain, not inhibiting an entire nerve completely by running a current through.

    @opi Close, but rather as long as the stimulators current stays on, the inhibitory pathway keeps inhibiting the pain pathway. Not turning it on and off an the effect stays for a while: the effect stays as long as it is on. This is different from drugs: drug receptors can regenerate, or the drug can get knocked off, etc, which is why opiates (morphine) fades. Electric stimulus is going to be there as long as it is on.
  • It's not completely different the only difference you have is scale but sorry for the side track if you don't think it's of use.
  • I know this might be a side track but has anyone considered looking at leaving the pain receptors to function and adjusting the perception of pain instead?

    I understand people with chronic pain can use meditation to help block the pain - a practice in neuroscience known as cognitive self-regulation. I've also read studies that show this is actually uses specific pathways within the brain.

    So my question is could tdcs be used to help train the brain to give people a higher pain threshold at will? Something that rather than needing a top up every so often could potentially get stronger through regular use and would not impede the subjects ability to feel pain that was medically important.

    Also this approach could be used on a wider range of types of pain and physical discomfort including extreme exhaustion, pushing "past the wall" for instance when exercising.

  • I like this idea much more, in terms of integration and improvement of the human body, condition, and situation. ^^
  • Be careful using DC electricity for long periods of time or frequently in a short span of time. It can cause chemical imbalances because it breaks down water and pulls ions around.

    As far as TDCS, according to this link, the dorsal posterior insula might be your best target. It supposedly controls how much something hurts. It looks to be about halfway back from the front of the brain, a bit under half way up from the bottom, and possibly on the left side.
  • Careful about that: the insula is buried under the inferior part of the frontal lobe and the superior part of the temporal lobe so that would not be easy to target without affecting those area (auditory cortex lies on the superior temporal gyrus for example).
  • Genetically modifying the TRKA can be a solution for not feeling pain, This is the gene that causes CIPA. But the lack of pain can lead to a lot of cons like losing the ability to sense danger and oral damage.
  • opiopi
    edited August 2016
    Yeah I agree, gene mod is probably the best way to go, but the major problem is, we don't seem to have the technology for humans except embryos... sigh
    But if anyone can prove me wrong, shoot ;)
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