There are many things that differ from one person to another, and one of them is related to… pain. There are many factors involved in this process that can affect its complexity The communication system between the brain and the body. The way we experience and perceive pain varies depending on age, genetics, education, and gender. Therefore, males and females view pain differently, and it appears that science has now found an answer as to whyMany researches indicate greater sensitivity and susceptibility among females to chronic pain, especially pain of nerve origin (neuropathy), compared to pain in males.
One Stadypublished in the magazine iScience It was carried out jointly by the National Research Council – the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Naples (Cnr-Ibbc) and the Institute of Complex Systems in Rome (Cnr-Isc) – by the Santa Lucia Erex Foundation in Rome, by the Center for Advanced Studies and Technologies (Cast) of the “G. D’Annunzio of Chieti Pescara and the University of Cor in Enna reveals the possible cause. For the first time, this research has shed light on The main role you play Adipose tissue In regulating specific inflammatory and metabolic responses associated with biological sex, highlighting some of the specific factors that explain it Increased female susceptibility to nerve pain.
Different pains between males and females. Role of adipose tissue
“To date, research has focused on what appear to be the main elements involved in neuropathies and associated pain, and which were thought to be the origin of this difference, namely the immune system, non-neuronal cells (neuroglia) and germ cells. hormones, and effectively detects differences between males and females in response to nerve damage. But what actually sparked Different answers Of these actors After nerve injury It was unknown until now“, explains Cnr-Ibbc researcher Sarah Marinelli, who leads the research team.Adipose tissue, an organ that until not long ago was considered amorphous, is in fact particularly dynamic in the communication between organs, capable of regulating, influencing and modifying many physiological and pathological processes, and not only of a metabolic nature. Today, we added an important piece to understanding this gap by discovering this organ It is actively involved in the repair of neuronal damage in a sex-dependent manner“.
In various metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity, adipose tissue is an organ that can facilitate inflammatory processes or trigger neuropathies; However, the hypothesis that it could play a predominant and different sex-dependent role in modulating the metabolic response to a neuronal lesion – in the absence of concomitant metabolic diseases – has never been considered.
The team’s observations focused on peripheral nerve injuries, exceeding many previous predictions:
“After this type of injury, we observed that male adipose tissue enhances glycolysis – that is, the splitting of the glucose molecule in order to generate higher energy molecules – and reduces energy expenditure and levels of trans fatty acids. In addition to, In the male sex, adipose tissue promotes the release of regenerative molecules, It protects against oxidative stress, and stimulates its typical proteins such as adiponectin, creating a favorable environment for regeneration and recovery from neuropathy.“, adds Roberto Cucurello, Cnr-Isc researcher and Santa Lucia Irccs Foundation, supervisor of the study.
However, the response in the opposite sex is different.
“Female adipose tissue shows impaired lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation, increased energy expenditure, and higher steroid hormone secretion that affects glucose and insulin metabolism. Guaranteed, Female adipose tissue Not only It responds to damage through altered metabolism Similar to people who develop diabetic neuropathy, however launch As well as other hormones involved in generating and maintaining nerve pain“Continues Claudia Rossi, a professor of biochemistry at the University of J. D’Annunzio” from Chieti Pescara.
“All this has clear implications for understanding Differences in gender response to nerve damage, Especially since the immune system, neurons, and neuroglia are highly susceptible to metabolic and hormonal changes, especially those related to glucose, insulin, and estrogen.“, concludes Sarah Marinelli.
New therapeutic perspectives
These discoveries are revealing A new therapeutic perspective for treating peripheral nerve damageAlthough more research will be necessary to identify more precise targets and develop gender-specific treatments. But beyond that the fact remains that if we start from empirical observation, doctors know this statistically very well Women generally have a greater level of pain tolerance Who has never heard: “When my husband/partner/son/is sick, it is unbearable. All it takes is a few lines of fever or a cold or a few headaches to make it seem like he’s dying.” Just a cliché? And even then science hasn’t found its answer, because according to another Stady This is because women have less ability to remember traumatic experiences. Such as, for example, labor pain or menstruation.
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”