Landscape of pain in Parkinson's disease: impact of gender differences

Neurol Res. 2019 Jan;41(1):87-97. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2018.1531208. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


Background/Aims: Pain is a non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease (PD). Few systematic studies have been carried out and there are still no guidelines on pain therapy in PD. Additionally, within the studies that do exist, gender-specific differences in pain perception are often the focus, though no consistent results have to date been obtained. The first main aim of our study was therefore to map pain in the largest PD study group to date, with the second being the analysis of the impact of different pain therapies in PD. The third and main aim was to correlate the obtained results with gender. Methods: A structured questionnaire with questions focusing on pain was sent to PD patients, with a subsequent statistical analysis correlating the data on pain features and pain therapy with gender. Results: The study included 1204 female and 1610 male PD patients. Spinal-paravertebral pain emerged as the dominant form of pain. A significant correlation was further demonstrated between gender and pain localization, pain intensity (p-value < 0.05), and pain as impairment to quality of life (p-value < 0.05). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were the painkillers most frequently used by the patients. Aside from non-opioid analgesics (p-value < 0.05), there was no demonstrated significant correlation between pain treatments and gender. Conclusion: This study found that gender influenced pain perception in the PD patients tested but did not impact the approach to pain therapy.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; gender; pain; pain and gender; pain in Parkinson’s disease; pain therapy; pain topography; statistical analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain Management
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sex Factors


  • Analgesics