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In Italy, a family lives, in whose honor was named a rare genetic failure

This is an ordinary Italian family: an elderly mother and two daughters, each of whom already has their own families. But something distinguishes them from everyone else: a rare, even unique syndrome. The fact is that the six members of the family of Marcilla practically do not feel pain – This is the 78-year-old head of the family Maria Domenica, her daughters Leticia and Maria, as well as their children, Virginia, Ludovico and Bernardo.

A family genetic mutation https://t.co/Dn9yVjyWsO

– The Independent (@Independent) December 14, 2017

As Leticia Marsilia tells, she noticed from childhood that she had a high pain threshold, and her colleagues even managed to call her “superwoman”. According to Letitia, there were several cases in their family when someone broke bones and did not even notice this: for example, it happened to her elderly mother.

Letitia herself once sprained her ankle during a winter holiday, but calmly passed with the sore foot for the remaining 2 weeks of vacation. Her son Bernardo once fell off a bicycle: as it turned out, he broke his arm and did not even notice it, and the injury was discovered when the bone had already begun to grow together. Laetitia’s sister Maria burnt herself too hot several times and didn’t notice it, but Virginia’s niece somehow froze her hand, but didn’t find out right away.

“Actually, we feel pain, but it lasts only a few seconds,” says the woman.

Letitia, her niece Virginia and sister Maria

Scientists are interested in this phenomenon: in the course of research, they were able to detect a mutation in the ZFHX2 gene. James Cox from University College London says that the nervous system of this family does not respond quite exactly like all other people. “If we figure out the reason for the absence of pain, then perhaps this will help create a new generation of pain medicine,” says Cox.

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