Pain in Dementia-prevalence and diagnostics (WC2013-016 )


Starting date: 01/03/2014

Recent years have seen a steady increase of scientific interest in pain in elderly with dementia. Still, much remains unclear. The prevalence of pain in dementia is uncertain, as is the relation between pain and the different subtypes of dementia. In addition, the studies published so far often do not differentiate between the various types of pain e.g. acute vs. chronic pain or nociceptive vs. neuropathic pain. Finally, an often overlooked type of pain in research is orofacial pain, even though it is very likely that this type of pain is common in elderly with dementia, given their decreased ability and interest in oral care.                                                                                                                                                                                        It is clinically relevant to distinguish between the various etiologies and the associated neuropathologies. This is especially the case for vascular dementia where white matter lesions are an important part of the pathology and they are known to increase pain experience. Nevertheless there is an absence of studies of pain in dementia differentiating between various types of dementia.