In article <2qpocf$i5d at netnews.upenn.edu>, kwu at mail.sas.upenn.edu (Kenneth Wu) writes:
>Can anyone suggest possible reasons for an endogenous anandamide receptor
>agonist which, presumably, would have some analgesic properties, if the
>endorphins are already present and in use as a system for pain management?
>>Also, would there be any use for an agonsist which has marijuana-like
>short term memory-killing properties?
I would like to make two points in regard to your first question.
First, you may be asking the wrong question. Remember, evolution
doesn't have a 'optimal plan', it works on what is there. Things
evolve, they are not designed. Consequently, evolution didn't
sit and think about it and say, hey this is silly, there should only
be one efficient system for analgesia. Secondly, if two systems for
pain management did happen to evolve, this wouldn't be too surprising.
Pain management might help increase the chances an animal would
survive and reproduce so there could very well be strong selective
pressure to maintain those systems.
In regards to your second question, who knows, but I can
certainly armchair it and come up with possibilities. For example,
it has been suggested that oxytocin may have 'forgetting' properties.
Perhaps some women have as many kids as they do because the oxytocin
helps them forget quite how painful the last one was. NOw, ...whether
this is TRUE or not is a whole other matter...