When was congenital-analgesia (aka congenital insensitivity to pain), the inability to feel pain, clinically documented?

How rare is it really?

Is it hereditary? Or just a sporadic fluke mutation?

I know this condition sounds like it would be a lot of fun (since one doesn't feel pain), but this can be an extremely dangerous situation to be in since one can't feel when they have broken bones, have a life-threatening infection, feel the burns of a stove, and may engage in risky behavior, etc. (since they don't feel the consequences of pain). So what is the life expectancy of someone with congenital-analgesia?

When was congenital-analgesia (aka congenital insensitivity to pain), the inability to feel pain, clinically documented?

It was first reported in 1932 in this paper:

Dearborn, G. V. N. (1932). A case of congenital general pure analgesia. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 75, 612-615. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005053-193206000-00002

However, I tried reading it, the print is very faded and near-impossible to read.

How rare is it really?

1 in 125 million

From: Daneshjou, K. et al. (2012). Congenital insensitivity to pain and anhydrosis (CIPA) syndrome; a report of 4 cases. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics, 22, 412–416.

But in this paper on the epidemiology in Japan, it's estimated at 1 in 600,000–950,000

From: Haga, N., Kubota, M., & Miwa, Z. (2013). Epidemiology of hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type IV and V in Japan. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 161, 871-874.

Is it hereditary? Or just a sporadic fluke mutation?

It's hereditary:

Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA), also known as hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type IV (HSAN IV)

Kim, W., Guinot, A., Marleix, S., Chapuis, M., Fraisse, B., & Violas, P. (2013). Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type IV and orthopaedic complications. Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research, 99, 881-885.

So what is the life expectancy of someone with congenital-analgesia?

There's age distribution of the population in Japan:

enter image description here

It doesn't say life expectancy, but it seems that it won't be past 40 years.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.