Congenital Insensitivity to Pain

By Sydney Sigua

What is Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIPA)?

This disease is a genetic mutation resulting in the inability to feel pain. This is caused from two parents have a certain type of mutated gene. This disease effects the nervous system.

How does this disease effect the Nervous System?

The nervous system is effected in many different ways with this disease. A healthy brain has nerves that transmits signals to your body. This makes you able to feel anything. But with CIPA, the brain is effected by a mutated gene, which effects your nerve development. With this you can feel anything but pain.
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Who is effected?

These disease is very, very rare. Currently there are only 35 people in the United States who have been diagnosed with this disease. Also, it is a genetic mutation so there is no gender specificity. Both the parents have to have the mutated gene to produce a child with CIPA. But even then, there is still a small possibility of having a child with the disease. You cannot get this disease at any time of your life, so you can only be born with it.
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How does this disease arise?

When two parents are carriers of this mutated gene, there is a small possibility of having a child with CIPA. CIPA works by the mutated gene affecting your nerve development for physical pain. So you can feel anything but pain.

How is CIPA diagnosed?

Since CIPA is so rare, they haven't developed any specific way to see if you have the disease. They do not perform any tests. Basically, if you truly cannot feel any physical pain at all, you can be diagnosed with this disease.

What are the Symptoms?/How do I know if I have it?

Since you cannot feel pain, it can lead to many other problems. Confusion is common especially if you don't know you have the disease. You won't feel pain but you can feel any other feelings. For example you could feel a kiss, but not the coffee burning your tongue in the morning. Since your pain is unknown, you will probably notice some wounds that you never remember happening. More symptoms include extreme flexibility. If you are wondering about your child, babies usually will not cry, and you will find them with chewed fingers, cheeks and tongue. This disease can aslo damage your ability to heal at a normal speed. This is because since your brain doesn't sense the danger from the wound, it may take time to realize it is there, and heal it.
Young Girl Cannot Feel Pain, Battles Rare Medical Condition CIPA

Is there treatment for this disease?

Unfortunately there is no cure for CIPA yet. Also, there is nothing you can do about it. No medication, nothing. You just have to be very careful. Although these people cannot be helped, they can maybe help other people. Scientist have discovered the developing of a new powerful painkiller, with the help of these patients.

What is the lifespan of these people?

The lifespan of the patients who have CIPA are normal. Although, since they are in extreme danger, they can be at risk. But as long as these people are careful they can live a regular lifespan.

Why did I choose this disease?

I selected this disease because I have heard things about it, but never in detail. I wanted to learn more about CIPA. Although I don't personally know anyone who has it, I truly feel terrible for anyone who does. When people first hear about this disease, they may think it is cool and great, as did I. But, as you can now see, it really is horrible. I hope that one day we will have a cure for this rare disease and come up with medication to help it. Then people could be more educated in this disease and try to help.