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Pain Med. 2019 May 2. pii: pnz091. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz091. [Epub ahead of print]

Widespread Pressure Pain Hyperalgesia Is Not Related to Pain in Patients with Parkinson's Disease.

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Asociación Parkinson Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Department of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Spain.



Pain is one of the most frequent nonmotor impairments in Parkinson's disease (PD) and is hypothesized to be associated with altered nociceptive pain processing. Our aims were to investigate differences in widespread pressure pain sensitivity between PD patients with and without pain and healthy controls and to assess the relationship of health-related quality of life and sleep quality with pressure pain sensitivity.


Nineteen PD patients with pain (12 men, age = 68 ± 9 years), 19 PD patients without pain (11 men, age = 69 ± 8 years), and 19 matched controls participated. Pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were assessed bilaterally over the cervical spine, the second metacarpal, and the tibialis anterior by an assessor blinded to the subject's condition. Patients were assessed in a dopamine-medicated (ON) state. Pain intensity (numerical pain rating scale, 0-10), health-related quality of life (39-item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire), and sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) were also assessed.


No significant differences existed between PD patients, with or without pain, and healthy controls on PPTs over the cervical spine, the second metacarpal, or the tibialis anterior muscle (all P > 0.3). PPTs were lower in females than in males in all groups (P < 0.01). In PD patients with pain, worse quality of sleep was associated with higher widespread pressure pain sensitivity (-0.607 < r < -0.535, P < 0.05). No other significant association was observed.


This study revealed no differences in widespread pressure hyperalgesia between PD patients with or without pain (ON state) and controls. Although dopamine may modulate pain responses, other mechanisms seems to also be implicated in altered nociceptive pain processing in patients with PD.


Pain Thresholds; Parkinson’s Disease; Pressure; Sleep Quality


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