By Dr. Brian McDonough
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new report suggests men and women perceive pain differently.
Microglia are immune cells in the spinal cord associated with pain, particularly in men.
A report in the journal Nature Neuroscience took a look at microglia, and analyzed the impact of specific pain treatments, whether they were done on men or on women.
They found that different types of immune cells are involved in chronic pain in males and females.
Essentially, certain medications will impact the microglia in men and actually cause pain reduction, but, in women, it doesn’t seem to have the impact.
The sex difference was linked to the presence of the male hormone testosterone and additional parts of the study revealed that instead of microglia, different immune cells were found in women: B and T cells.
What this suggests is different medications could be designed for men and for women to help them with pain.