Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Do We Feel Cold, Feeling of Coldness, Feeling of Chills

Science has made humans to question. The world is full of mysteries which humans are craving to dig out. One such mystery is “Why we feel cold?” Researchers have found out that the reason of feeling cold is because of the presence of a protein that helps us sense and feel cold.

Neuroscientists at the University of Southern California have discovered cold fibers, strands stretching from sensory neurons near the spinal cord to nerve endings in the skin programmed to feel various kinds of cold.

Previous research had advised that cold-sensing neurons are specific, with some sensing painful cold sensations and others sensing more enjoyable ones.

But now, scientists have discovered that the fibers lead back to one place in the neuron: a protein known as TRPM8 that sends a cold signal up the spinal cord to the brain which is the reason why do we feel cold.

Researchers explained the phenomenon of a cold fibers in this way. When the dental practitioner chills a tooth with compressed air, the fibers relays a signal from nerve ending to sensory neuron. The neuron carries the signal to the brain, and the patient shivers.

A team of researchers genetically engineered mice in which neurons that express TRPM8 molecules also consisted a fluorescent tracer that lights up the fibers. The research shows that humans and other mammals appear to share the same chemical process.

By pursuing the fluorescent cold fibers, the scientists added to the grounds that TRPM8 is present in many types of cold sensing. In teeth, a specific nerve endings consisted in the initial shooting pain and the ensuing dull ache both lead back to TRPM8, researchers said.

Sensations such as the enjoyable coolness of menthol, the bite of ice on the skin, the increased cold sensibility after an injury and the soothing cool of some pain relief lotions also consist TRPM8, researchers said.

Taking out TRPM8 does not get rid of all sensitivity to all kinds of cold. Intense cold not only triggers TRPM8 but also burns the skin, turning on many other warning circuits.

So your higher cognitive centers are processing a cool signal and a pain signal, and so we get cold pain.

Its simple the presence of TRPM8 in out body which makes us sense cold.


Prakash Kumar said...

Feeling Cold is a natural phenomenon experienced by most of the mammals including human beings. If you feel cold or keep or are always feeling cold then you should ensure that you take proper preventive measures.

BTW Nice Post!

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