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Lower Prevalence of Chronic Pain in Manifest Huntington’s Disease: A Pilot Observational Study

  • delussi;, marianna
Publication Date
May 21, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci12050676
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Pain is a minor problem compared with other Huntington Disease (HD) symptoms. Nevertheless, in HD it is poorly recognized and underestimated. So far, no study evaluated the presence of chronic pain in HD. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the presence and features of chronic pain in a cohort of HD gene carriers. An observational cross-sectional study was conducted in a cohort of HD gene carriers compared to not gene carriers (n.134 HD subjects, n.74 not gene mutation carriers). A specific pain interview, alongside a neurological, cognitive and behavioural examination, was performed in order to classify the type of pain, subjective intensity. A significant prevalence of “no Pain” in HD was found, which tended to increase with HD progression and a reduced frequency of pain in the last 3 months. A clear difference was found between manifest and premanifest HD in terms of intensity of pain, which did not change significantly with HD progression; however, a tendency emerges to a progressive reduction. No significant group difference was present in analgesic use, type and the site of pain. These findings could support a lower prevalence of chronic pain in manifest HD. Prevalence and intensity of chronic pain seem directly influenced by the process of neurodegeneration rather than by an incorrect cognitive and emotional functioning.

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