Congenital Analgesia or Congenital insensitivity to pain is a body disorder in which a person does not feel and has never felt any pain.
The senses of touch and observance are normal in the people having congenital analgesia and also there are no detectable oddities in the body. Though this disorder might seem a beneficial one as a person does not feel any pain, but the same may lead to some serious consequences.
It is often seen in children suffering from congenital analgesia that they bite off the tip of their tongue and may bear a fracture without even knowing about it. Not being able to feel any pain, they do not respond to such problems and soon, these problems take a serious turn against their health.
This condition is often caused by increased production of endorphins in the brain. It is considered a form of peripheral neuropathy because it affects the peripheral nervous system, which connects the brain and spinal cord to muscles and to cells that detect sensations such as touch, smell, and pain.
Moreover, this disorder is not very common, with only 20 cases having been reported so far.
Furthermore, there are two types of congenital analgesia:
1. ‘Insensitivity’ to pain means that a person cannot describe the intensity or type of the pain.
2. ‘Indifference’ to pain means that a person understands the stimulus but does not withdraw when exposed to it.
Congenital analgesia is an autosomal recessive trait. It has been linked to a mutation in the SCN9A gene. However, any slight mutation of this gene makes it completely non-functional, disabling the brain’s ability to recognize pain.