Scientists have identified the genes in woman which for sixty years made her virtually immune to pain and anxiety. Two mutations, one common and one not, were responsible for the condition of the woman, resulting also in her wounds healing abnormally quickly.

While in her sixties, the woman was referred to specialists after a hand treatment which normally causes serious discomfort had no effect on her.

The analysis determined that two genetic mutations were present to cause the condition: a common one to suppress the FAAH gene which usually breaks down anandamide in the body, and certain missing information in a pseudogene named FAAH-OUT, meaning that the FAAH gene was almost completely disabled.

Such genetic variations meant the woman had almost twice the normal level of anandamide in her system.

This discovery, the researchers said, could have “immense” implications, and encouraged anyone who also does not experience pain to come forward for research.