Are the Rats too Scared to Get the Right Research and Dose?

I just had my husband read up a most interesting story from the most recent Economist (May 3rd, 2014)–a  most unlikely source for a scientific article–that came down on me like a rock! And it will on you as well. The title of the article does not tell you what it is about and it sounds silly too–not sure why they gave this title… but cute nonetheless albeit says nothing of the topic. The title is: Sex, writhes and videotape.

So why is this article interesting? It is not about sex and not about video taping animals having sex. Rather it discovered something critical for us to know about. The original research was published in Nature Methods by Jeffrey Mogil of McGill University in Montreal and his colleagues. So why is this article important to us you say?

This article is about how our research on animals has mislead us for years! And we did not know until now. This basically means we need to redo every single research. Why? As it turns out, lab rats fear male experimenters and kick into a “fight-or-flight” mode, initiating diarrhea and other things, one if which is key: less sensitivity to pain! 

If the researchers are women, the rats do not have the same fear, have no panic attacks, do not run for their lives, and their pain sensors remain what it normally would be.

This all sounds great but what is its importance? If you are taking a medication for a headache and the dose of that medicine was established for you based on the research of a male researchers, there is a good chance you will be overdosed! In fact, in recent studies, a couple of sleeping aid pharmaceuticals have already had to make adjustment to dosages since the dose for men represented a 45% overdose for women. But these doses may have still been established by male researchers that would mean that even the men are overdosed and women still also are. We just don’t know.

Based on this discovery of lab rat fear, it is questionable if we really have any medicine in the market today that is safe in dose! Think about its implications! And this is all because lab rats are more scared from men than women. It is both ridiculous and scary! It also teaches us a great lesson: rats can tell who is male and female.. in fact they can tell so from a T-Shirt put close to their cages… There is something about male researchers that intimidates lab rats!

Next time you buy your bottle of pain reliever, look to see if the researcher was male or female…

Any questions and suggestions are welcome!


About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain--migraine in particular--physiology, electrolyte homeostasis, nutrition, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention, and treatment without the use of medicine. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage dependent channels, gates, and pumps (chanelopathy) that modulate electrolyte mineral density and voltage in the brain. In addition, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other variants, such as MTHFR variants of B vitamin methylation process and many others are different in the case of a migraineur from the general population. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive (carbohydrate intolerant) and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. She is working on her hypothesis that migraine is a metabolic disease. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and her helping over 5000 migraineurs successfully prevent their migraines world wide, all ages and both genders, and all types of migraines, she published the 2nd (extended) edition of her migraine book "Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: Complete Guide: How To Treat & Prevent Migraines Without Medications". The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraine cause, development, and prevention, incorporating all there is to know. It includes a long section for medical and research professionals. The book is full of academic citations (over 800) to authenticate the statements she makes to make it easy to follow up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide", published on September 29, 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in Economics with dissertation in neuroscience (culminating in Neuroeconomics) at Claremont Graduate University, fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers, certification in LCHF/ketogenic diet from NN (Nutrition Network), certification in physiology (UPEN via Coursea), Nutrition (Harvard Shool of Public Health) and functional medicine studies. Dr. Stanton is an avid sports fan, currently power weight lifting and kickboxing. For relaxation (yeah.. about a half minute each day), she paints and photographs and loves to spend time with her family of husband of 45 years, 2 sons and their wives, and 2 granddaughters. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook, LinkedIn at and facebook at
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19 Responses to Are the Rats too Scared to Get the Right Research and Dose?

  1. Roald Michel says:

    Scare myself? Guess I’m lacking that skill. How does that work?

    No roses here. Maybe in the flower shop?


  2. Roald Michel says:

    Ah, another myth about males debunked. From now on, no woman can tell us we’re like rats, because as it turned out, rats are not afraid of women, while men are. Really great news.

    Liked by 1 person

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