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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Dec 2023 - 8 Dec 2023

2023 Nov 16

J Neurol Sci



Pain is common in early onset Parkinson’s disease and pain severity is associated with age and worsening of motor and non-motor symptoms.


Hoang DT, Xing F, Nguyen TD, Nguyen TD, Tran TN, Nhu SD, Nguyen QH, Nguyen HT, Hoang UT, Than QV, Truong D


The consequences of pain in early onset Parkinson’s disease (EOPD) remain under appreciated even though pain may exert an increasingly negative impact on patient quality of life as motor and non-motor symptoms worsen. In this prospective study, we investigate the prevalence and severity of pain in 135 Vietnamese patients with EOPD from three medical centers using the King’s PD Pain Scale (KPPS), the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE), the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the Non-Motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS). Pain was reported by 79.3%. The most common subtype of pain was musculoskeletal (70.1%), followed by nocturnal (43.9%), radicular (43.0%), chronic (42.1%), fluctuation-related (34.6%) and orofacial pain (16.8%). Most patients (74.8%) experienced more than one pain subtype. Fluctuation-related pain and orofacial pain were significantly more prevalent among patients with higher Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) stages (3-5) versus lower H&Y stages (1-2). Pain subtype and severity were not significantly related to gender or age of PD onset. Patients with H&Y stages 3-5 had statistically significantly higher KPPS scores for fluctuation-related pain (p = 0.018) and radicular pain (p = 0.026). Independent associations were found between pain severity and age (p = 0.028), depression severity (p = 0.018), perceptual problems/hallucinations (p = 0.033) and sexual function (p = 0.024). Patients with depression and higher H&Y stages (3-5) had statistically significantly higher mean KPPS scores versus patients without depression and at lower H&Y stages (1-2). Pain may be more common and severe in EOPD patients than previously appreciated. Older age, depression, perceptual problems/hallucinations and sexual dysfunction were independently associated with higher pain severity.