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Comparative Study
, 65 (9), 1191-4

Pain as a Nonmotor Symptom of Parkinson Disease: Evidence From a Case-Control Study

Comparative Study

Pain as a Nonmotor Symptom of Parkinson Disease: Evidence From a Case-Control Study

Giovanni Defazio et al. Arch Neurol.


Objective: To determine whether pain is more frequent among people with Parkinson disease (PD) than among age-matched controls.

Design: Case-control study.

Patients and methods: Logistic regression models taking into account type of pain, time between pain and PD onset, and possible confounders were used to compare 402 PD patients with 317 age-matched healthy control subjects.

Results: The overall frequency of pain was significantly greater in PD patients than in controls (281 [69.9%] vs 199 [62.8%]; P = .04), mainly because the healthy control group lacked dystonic pain. Conversely, the frequency of nondystonic pain was similar among PD patients and controls (267 [66.4%] vs 199 [62.8%]; P = .28). Nevertheless, we observed a significant association between PD and nondystonic pain, beginning after the onset of parkinsonian symptoms (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-2.9). Cramping and central neuropathic pain were more frequent among PD patients than controls. About one-quarter of patients who experienced pain reported pain onset before starting antiparkinsonian therapy.

Conclusion: These data support the hypothesis that pain begins at clinical onset of PD or thereafter as a nonmotor feature of PD.

Comment in

  • Central pain and Parkinson disease.
    Canavero S. Canavero S. Arch Neurol. 2009 Feb;66(2):282-3; author reply 283. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2008.545. Arch Neurol. 2009. PMID: 19204173 No abstract available.

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