Touch

By Alex C. and Juliette P.
A loss of touch is characterised by multiple diseases ranging on the spectrum of slightly numb to complete nerve damage resulting in no sensation.


Leprosy

Leprosy, a bacterial disease of the skin, is one of the leading causes for a loss of touch. The disease attacks nerve connections in the body, and can progess to any range of insensitivity in the body. The victim typically develops sores and disfigured blotches on the skin that do not heal after long periods of time, which then turn into areas of lost sensation. The most damaging effects of the disease, however, are caused by the damge to the body from the gained insensitivty. Without sensation of heat or cold, it is signifcantly easier to get burns or frostbite without knowledge of the injury even occurring. This is the case as well with various other injuries such as cuts, fractures and breaks. Someone with insensitivity needs to go through extensive measures to keep from contracting further injury.

Stories of people with leprosy

Congenital Insensitivity to Pain

Congenital insensitivity to pain (CIPA), also known as congenital analgia, congenital analgesia and congenital pain insensitivity, is one or more rare conditions where a person cannot feel physical pain They can feel touch but not temperature or any pain. There are some cases where the condition is caused by increased production of endorphins in the brain in which case naloxone may be used as treatment. This treatment does not always work. It can also be caused by nerve damage and genetic mutations.
There is another form of the disease called congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. Anhidrosis means the inability to sweat. Not only can you not feel pain, but you can't feel any type of temperature. Scientists believe this disease is linked the the Thyroid system. The odds of being born with this condition are 1 in 125 million. It is also caused by a genetic mutation which prevents your body from making certain nerve cells that are required inorder to feel pain. Since they cannot feel any temperature most children with this disease die before the age of 3 due to overheating
There are generally two types of non-response exhibited. Insensitivity to pain means that the person cannot even describe the pain. There is no feeling at all. Indifference to pain means that the patient can feel the pain but will not react to it: they will not flinch or jump at all. Most cases occur in homogeneous towns. There are only about 60 cases of CIPA in the USA.

http://cmj.org/periodical/images/200612/2006122010225339.jpg
http://cmj.org/periodical/images/200612/2006122010225339.jpg

Most people with this disease will bite their nails or lips and won't be able to notice it

House Episode about CIPA Patient
Story of Girl who Cannot feel Pain

Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia is a disease of the spinal cord caused by a cyst the develops in the spinal cord, called a syrinx, that expands over time. This cyst damages the spinal cord, which then in turn affects nerve connections resulting in many harmful effects. These effects may includes pain, weakness, and insensitivity to heat or cold, as well as other insensitivities caused by nerve damage. Unlike CIPA, syringomyelia progresses over time and never reaches a stage in which the victim achieves complete sensory damage. Resulting effects of syringomyelia are the same as all other insensitivity diseases: it is common for injuries to occur from failure to retract from painful situations that one who could recognize pain or uncomfortable stimulus would be able to avoid.