April 26, 2010

Pain and sensation and all that jazz

They're finding out all sorts of new things about how we actually sense pain and temperature and all of that - the link above talks about researching the cold and heat pathways (which apparently are separate and involve key proteins of some sort).  I'm having a foggy foggy day today after trying to help out at the MS Walk yesterday so took three times through the article and still don't get it quite, but feel free to explore on your own. The key thing is that the cold/hot sensors which prevent us from burning ourselves are regulated from the spinal column..
What I still puzzle about is why the patchy sensation I feel - the places where I can feel touch but the places next to them where I cannot - why I can feel coolness, but pin pricks and injuries are unnoticed. While this is helpful when I chop off different parts of my fingers whenever I make salad (added protein?), I do wonder about the variability in sensation that is part of MS. Any ideas out there?

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