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Rare chromosome mutation: "Bionic girl" feels no pain
The newspapers around the world report a special suffering. A 7-year-old girl from England has a genetic defect in which she is neither in pain nor feeling hungry. This suffering is a great danger. Protect pain and hunger indicates that food intake is pending. This results in life-threatening risks for those affected, who are also called "terminator" girls.
7 year old girl feels no pain
The seven-year-old Olivia F. from England is currently reported in various media worldwide. Doctors call her a "bionic girl", tabloids sometimes refer to her as a "terminator" girl. The seven-year-old suffers from a rare chromosome mutation in which some of the genetic material is missing. This defect means that the girl does not feel hungry, is pain-resistant and can go without sleep for days.
Pierced lip without shedding a tear
The fact that Olivia does not feel pain has been shown dramatically on several occasions. An Indonesian news portal, for example, reports that the girl fell so badly in kindergarten in earlier years that her teeth pierced her lower lip and she didn't even start to cry. Another time she was hit by a car and went home with a huge tire mark on her body - without feeling any pain.
Extremely rare chromosome mutation
When the girl was finally examined in the hospital, the doctors found that Olivia has an extremely rare chromosome mutation (chromosome 6p defect). To date, only 100 cases of this type have been registered worldwide. Her mother told Britain's "The Sun": "It's like Olivia is made of steel." It is said that “their symptoms of hunger, sleep and pain are due to this mutation”. Since the diagnosis, the mother has been training regular meals with her daughter. In addition, Olivia is now receiving medication to get at least six hours of sleep a night. However, the lack of pain sensation does not seem to be treatable. And that can be dangerous when you consider Olivia's previous accidents. The girl had perceived this as less dramatic. A healthy sensation of pain would also be beneficial in later years, since pain can often indicate a certain illness.
Gene defects as the cause of pain resistance
The chromosome mutation of Olivia is not the only cause of pain resistance in humans. For example, a few years ago, scientists from the University of Jena reported on a life without pain due to a certain genetic modification in a study. At the time, the researchers discovered that the mutated gene called "SCN11A" in a four-year-old caused her to remain completely painless when injured. Scientists at MedUni Vienna also reported painlessness due to a gene mutation last year.
According to the international team of researchers led by Michaela Auer-Grumbach from the University Clinic for Orthopedics at the Medical University of Vienna, the mutation of the PRDM12 gene plays a decisive role in reducing the sensation of pain. (ad)