An elderly woman in Scotland has lived an almost pain-free life thanks to a gene mutation that’s given her superhero-like powers — including enhanced wound healing, a new study revealed.
Jo Cameron, 71, sought treatment six years ago for a hip problem, which doctors determined was severely arthritic and needed to be replaced, The Independent reported.
Typically, the pain would be unbearable — but Cameron pulled through two painless surgeries, according to the report. So her doctors decided to dig deeper.
In a study published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia this week, researchers concluded that Cameron also experiences very little anxiety and fear, and may also have enhanced wound healing — all because of the gene mutation, Medical XPress reported.
“We found this woman has a particular genotype that reduces activity of a gene already considered to be a possible target for pain and anxiety treatments,” one of the study’s lead researchers, Dr. James Cox, of University College London, told the outlet.
“Now that we are uncovering how this newly-identified gene works, we hope to make further progress on new treatment targets,” he said.
Researchers discovered a mutation in a gene called Faah (Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase) — which plays a role in the parts of the central nervous system affected by the compounds in cannabis.
And surprisingly, they found another gene that they dubbed “Faah-Out,” which was previously considered a “junk” gene that controls Faah.
Researchers are conducting further tests in Cameron’s gene samples to better understand her novel genetic makeup, which recalls Marvel Comics’ Wolverine, known for his uncanny healing abilities.
“We hope that with time, our findings might contribute to clinical research for post-operative pain and anxiety, and potentially chronic pain, PTSD and wound healing, perhaps involving gene therapy techniques,” Cox said.
“The implications for these findings are immense,” added Dr. Devjit Srivastava, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at a National Health Service hospital.