A team of scientists from the Portuguese University of Coimbra (UC) discovered after two years of research that the reduction of the enzyme CYP2D6 is associated with postpartum pain in women who gave birth by cesarean section.
According to a statement released today by the Portuguese University, the study revealed that “genetic variants resulting from the absence or reduction of CYP2D6 enzymatic function are associated with greater pain” after delivery.
According to the lead researcher, Manuela Grazina, the reduction of this enzyme “is possibly related to a decrease in the synthesis of dopamine”, since there would be a decrease in the activity of said enzyme in the brain.
Dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, is responsible for sending signals to the brain, so a low level of dopamine can trigger more painful symptoms.
The researchers highlight that 12% of dopamine is synthesized by this enzyme, “which is an essential neurotransmitter for well-being and that offers an analgesic response of the organism to pain”.
This research is “an important step forward” to combat acute postpartum pain that, Grazina recalled, “affects a considerable number of women and in 10-15% of cases the pain is chronic after cesarean.”
Based on this progress, the researchers believe that a personalized medical treatment can be administered, according to the genetic characteristics of each woman in labor.
This “will bring great benefits”, allowing adjusting the doses of analgesic for a more effective treatment,” said the lead author.
The results of this research, carried out on 55 adult patients of the University Hospital of Coimbra, were published in the scientific journal “Pain Medicine”.