Published by National Pain Report

Chronic pain changes everything from finances to relationships, and now new research from McGill University shows may reprogram the way genes work in the immune system.

“We found that chronic pain changes the way DNA is marked not only in the brain but also in T cells, a type of white blood cell essential for immunity,” said Moshe Szyf, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill in a press release. “Our findings highlight the devastating impact of chronic pain on other important parts of the body such as the immune system.”

Researchers analyzed DNA in the brain and white blood cells of rats, using a chemical known as a methyl group.

“Methyl marks are important for regulating how these genes function,” said study co-author Laura Stone, a researcher in the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain.

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