Parkinson disease: A systemic review of pain sensitivities and its association with clinical pain and response to dopaminergic stimulation

Simon Sung, Nirosen Vijiaratnam, Daniela Wan Chi Chan, Michael Farrell, Andrew H. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) experience hyperalgesia on evoked pain sensitivity testing, although the relationship of this with persistent pain in PD is less certain. Studies examining this have generated contradictory findings. Further, the role of dopaminergic deficiency as an underlying substrate for hyperalgesia is controversial. We report the results of meta-analyses of the PD pain sensitivity literature in an attempt to answer these questions. We identified 429 records, of which ten articles compared pain sensitivity between PD patients that experienced clinical pain (PDP) to those who did not (PDNP), and twenty studies that examined the effect of dopaminergic medications on pain sensitivity in PD patients. PDP patients experienced a moderate increase in pain sensitivity, had more severe disease, required higher dosages of medication, and were more likely to be female when compared to those PDNP patients. PD patients also had reduced pain sensitivity when tested on dopaminergic medications compared to when they were not on medications. Overall, the results of this systematic review and meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that hyperalgesia contributes to clinical pain in PD, and that the underlying mechanism may be dopaminergically driven.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-206
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018

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