Congenital insensitivity to pain
What is congenital insensitivity to pain?
Congenital insensitivity to pain is a condition, present from birth, that inhibits the ability to perceive physical pain. Affected individuals are unable to feel pain in any part of their body. Over time this lack of pain awareness can lead to an accumulation of injuries and health issues that may affect life expectancy. Congenital insensitivity to pain is caused by mutations (harmful changes) in one of at least 6 genes known to cause pain insensitivity. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. Congenital insensitivity to pain 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. It is part of a group known as hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies.