Scientists Have Discovered A New Sensory Organ On Skin That Detects Pain


We know from prior research that our skin is the primary sensory organ responsible for identifying pain and producing reflexes for better self defence. But, it seems like the researchers have pointed out something deeper related to the pain and sensation that we didn’t know of.

A new study (R) conducted by the researchers from Karolinska Institutet has discovered a new sensory organ which can successfully identify the varying kinds of painful mechanical damage caused to the skin like that of pricks and the impacts.

If we look into the statistics of things, it isn’t a surprise at all that pain is responsible for a number of costs and sufferings in the society as of now. It is believed that one in every five person is constantly in pain and requires constant pain medication to keep their condition in check.

While that is a case, it is also important for individuals to have sensitivity to pain which is essential for the normal protective functions in the body. It is what prompts the individuals to inflict reflex actions to prevent further unnecessary damage caused to the tissue in the body, especially in cases of burns or the impacts from the sharp objects.

Upon further in-depth research, the researchers from the Karolinska Institutet have discovered the presence of a new sensory organ on the skin which is responsible for detecting the signs of pain and discomfort.

The structure comprises of glia cells with the inclusion of multiple protrusions that form a collective mesh like structure on the skin. This specific organ has been found to impose sensitivity to the painful mechanical damage predominantly the pricks and the impacts caused.

This specific study has been caused to find better insights into how the new pain sensitive organ looks like in terms of the exterior appearance and also for the kind of functions that it imposes. The study also found how the activation of this said organ results in the propagation of the electrical impulses in the nervous system, thus promoting prompt reflexes.

The researchers also found that the cells that make up the organ are quite sensitive to the exterior mechanical stimuli, thus explaining how it plays an active role when it comes to the detection of the painful pricks and the impacts that you might have been experiencing.

To further cross check its ability, the researchers also actively blocked the function of the said organ and found reduced response and even the reduce impacts in feeling the mechanical pain in the body.

Patrik Ernfors, professor at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, who is also the lead author of the study stated saying that this study shows that the pain sensitivity isn’t just restricted to the skin nerve fibers but also in the sensory pain organ that they have recently discovered.

This specific study and discovery further changes the understanding related to the cellular mechanisms of any of the physical sensations in the body and can further allow better understanding of the chronic pain and might help with finding of better therapeutic approaches for the same.