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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Feb 2024 - 1 Mar 2024


PLoS One




CT-optimal touch and chronic pain experience in Parkinson’s Disease; An intervention study.


Meijer LL, Ruis C, Schielen ZA, Dijkerman HC, van der Smagt MJ


One of the most underdiagnosed and undertreated non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is chronic pain. This is generally treated with analgesics which is not always effective and can cause several side-effects. Therefore, new ways to reduce chronic pain are needed. Several experimental studies show that CT-optimal touch can reduce acute pain. However, little is known about the effect of CT-optimal touch on chronic pain. The aim of the current study is to investigate whether CT-optimal touch can reduce the chronic pain experience in Parkinson patients. In this intervention study, 17 Parkinson patients underwent three conditions; no touch, CT-optimal touch and CT non-optimal touch with a duration of one week each. During each touch week, participants received touch from their partners twice a day for 15 minutes. Results show that both types of touch ameliorate the chronic pain experience. Furthermore, it appears that it is slightly more beneficial to apply CT-optimal touch also because it is perceived as more pleasant. Therefore, we argue that CT-optimal touch might be used when immediate pain relief is needed. Importantly, this study shows that CT-optimal touch can reduce chronic pain in Parkinson’s Disease and can be administered by a partner which makes it feasible to implement CT-optimal touch as daily routine.