Are you the type of person who is sensitive to pain? Do you reach for the Percocet at the first sign of a headache? Perhaps it's not your fault that you are more acutely aware of pain than others. It maybe because of a Neanderthal gene you inherited eons ago.
Scientists who examined these ancient genes found a variant that alters an ion channel in nerve cells. This causes the channel to initiate pain perception more readily than those who don't have the gene. The Neanderthal genes are more commonly found in people of European and Central and South American descent.
So next time you tell your doctor that you need a refill of Norco along with a prescription of Dilaudid for breakthrough pain, tell her that it's not your fault. It's your Neanderthal genes making you sick.
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