Men and women can’t feel each other’s pain. Literally. We have different biological pathways for chronic pain, which means pain-relieving drugs that work for one sex might fail in the other half of the population.
A new study in the journal Brain reveals differences in the sensory nerves that enter the spinal cords of men and women with neuropathic pain, which is persistent shooting or burning pain. The first such study in humans, it provides the most compelling evidence yet that we need different drugs for men and women.
“[Medical researchers] made the assumption that men and women were absolutely identical in every respect, except their reproductive biology… If there were differences in how …drugs worked between men and women, they didn’t want to hear about it.”–Marianne Legato, cardiologist and pioneer of new field of gender-specific medicine