• On a recent evening, Brian Pardy plunged his right hand into ice water and held it there for two and a half minutes.

    Pardy was carrying out an at-home experiment that the genetic testing company 23andMe is asking its customers to perform. An early adopter of genetic testing, Pardy first bought a 23andMe test in 2012.

    “It was uncomfortable and slightly painful, but nothing like wearing wet gloves and shoveling snow for an hour at 10 below zero,” says Pardy, who lives in northwest Vermont. Most people can stand to keep their hands in near-freezing water for at least 100 seconds, according to 23andMe.

    The experiment Pardy did is known as a cold pressor test, and it’s one of many used to gauge a person’s tolerance to pain. It’s part of a new study 23andMe announced earlier this month to , and it represents the company’s first foray into at-home research.

    23andMe has previously launched studies on medical conditions like depression, fertility problems, and irritable bowel disease, using surveys to ask participants about things like their health history, lifestyle, and diet (see ). The new study also includes two surveys about pain tolerance and pain history, but this is the first time the company has asked people to do an experiment on their own and report the results.

    Carrie Northover, director of research services for 23andMe, says the goal of the study is to “understand genetic factors associated with experiencing pain and response to medications that help alleviate pain.” Previous research has suggested that multiple genetic factors are at play in chronic pain, and that certain groups of people report pain more often than others.

    23andMe has around two million customers who have paid $99 to $199 to have a subset of their genes profiled when they provide a vial of their saliva. About 85 percent of those people have consented to have their data used for research, according to the company, allowing 23andMe to conduct large studies on the genetic underpinnings of certain traits and diseases (see “”). A separate consent form is required from people who participate in the pain study, which Pardy says he wanted to do because he suffers from back pain. He says he’d love a cure, rather than just medication to manage it.

    Northover says they plan to enroll 20,000 Americans to take the two pain surveys and hope to get 10,000 of those to complete the cold pressor test over the next year. She didn’t give much detail on what 23andMe will do with the data, other than to say the results “may help develop a more personalized approach to pain medication.” 23andMe has partnered with German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal for the study.

    Ajay Wasan, vice chair for pain medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says the cold pressor test is only one way to measure pain. There are a range of other tests, including ones that measure a person’s tolerance to heat, pin pricks, and pressure.

    “The problem is no one single experimental pain test maps really well to overall pain sensitivity and doesn’t have high correlation to someone’s clinical chronic pain or their response to treatment,” he says.

    Wasan says researchers would have to look at “a whole group of stimuli” to understand a person’s pain threshold. He says his own pain tolerance varies depending on the test. For example, he can only do the cold pressor test for about 30 seconds, but his tolerance to other kinds of pain, like heat and pressure, is much higher.

    These kinds of tests are also usually administered in doctor’s offices. Wasan says he isn’t aware of any published studies in which lots of people have done a cold pressor test at home. Having people self-report their results raises questions about whether the data can be trusted.

    But John Wilbanks, chief common officers at the open-science nonprofit Sage Bionetworks, says that depending on how the study is designed, patient-reported outcomes can be reliable. Wilbanks helped conceive some of the first studies for Apple’s ResearchKit, a medical software platform launched in 2015 that lets researchers collect health data about people remotely.

    A found that the Apple platform and a smartphone app were fairly accurate in gathering data about asthma patients, relative to existing patient studies.

    In the 23andMe study, users log in to an online interface that times them while they take the cold pressor test. The “timer” is designed to simply pulse instead of flashing a time, which is meant to discourage people from trying to “beat the clock,” Northover says. Still, that won’t necessarily stop participants from reporting false data.

    23andMe won’t be able to tell whether that’s happening until some people have already taken the test. The company will analyze data from the test partway through the study to make sure the

     

    Comments are closed

    Sorry, but you cannot leave a comment for this post.

     

    Latest Posts

    Latest Video

     
     

    LATEST POSTS

    What To Expect When Going To A Local Therapist

    Much of the population still looks down on therapy and psychologists. The primary reason for this is that therapy is vastly misunderstood by the general…

    Calm Body and Calm Mind: 4 Stress-Relief Strategies You Can Try

    Stress comes in different ways. First, stress can be in the form of acute stress. Acute stress is the kind of stress that you acquire,…

    Programming the Subconscious to Fight Diabetes

    Diabetes is a life-threatening illness that causes strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, and blindness. Every year, 1.5 million Americans learn they have the illness. For…

    Vision of the Future in AR and Mixed Reality

    SOURCE Hello everyone who is reading our blog In this post I would like to share some of my thoughts and observations on how different…

    Keeping out of Trouble: 3 Scenarios Where Health Insurance Can Drop You

    Your health insurance is incredibly important, which is why the idea of being dropped by your insurance company is so concerning. Your health insurance provider…

    Health Benefits Associated With Drinking Water

      Out all the things that we eat and drink, water stands out as the most important one. When you drink water the body is…

    Artificial Intelligence Diagnoses Heart Murmurs Better Than Expert Cardiologists

    SOURCE Eko’s heart murmur detection algorithm outperformed four out of five cardiologists for the detection of heart murmurs in a recent clinical study. The algorithm…

    https://velotime.com.ua

    www.velotime.com.ua

    Web promote https://progressive.ua