Gender, pain and dementia

October 17, 2017 by Bill Snyder

Men and women feel pain differently, and the same is true for people with Alzheimer's disease.

In a report published last month in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Todd Monroe, Ph.D., and his colleagues conclude that these differences will need to be considered in order to improve the detection, evaluation and treatment of pain in this vulnerable population.

The researchers used a standard questionnaire to determine the psychophysical responses to increasing heat applied to the hands of 14 men and 14 women aged 65 and older with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. The women reported experiencing mild and moderate pain at markedly lower temperatures than did the men, but the men rated mild and stimuli as more unpleasant.

While further studies are needed, these findings suggest that better understanding of the in the perception of pain could lead to more targeted and effective pain assessment and management strategies in older adults with Alzheimer's disease, the researchers concluded.

Explore further: Pain and Alzheimer's disease

More information: Ronald L. Cowan et al. Sex Differences in the Psychophysical Response to Contact Heat in Moderate Cognitive Impairment Alzheimer's Disease: A Cross-Sectional Brief Report, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (2017). DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170532

Related Stories

Pain and Alzheimer's disease

September 6, 2017
For people with Alzheimer's disease (AD), pain that interferes with daily activities may be more common than people with AD typically report.

Alzheimer's may hamper ability to perceive pain

July 20, 2016
(HealthDay)—Alzheimer's disease may affect people's ability to recognize when they are in pain, a new study shows.

Use of prescription analgesics differs significantly between persons with and without Alzheimer's

November 29, 2016
Approximately one third of persons with Alzheimer's disease use prescription medicines for pain after their diagnosis, reports a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. The use of analgesics was as common ...

Higher pain expression tied to pro-nociceptive state

August 11, 2017
(HealthDay)—Sensory over-responsiveness (SOR) in otherwise healthy subjects is associated with a pro-nociceptive state, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in PAIN Practice.

Many suffer chronic pain after breast cancer surgery, study finds

January 22, 2013
(HealthDay)—About one-quarter of women who've had breast cancer surgery have significant and persistent breast pain six months after the procedure, a new study finds.

Can staying active help to prevent chronic pain? Physical activity affects pain modulation in older adults

February 24, 2017
Older adults with higher levels of physical activity have pain modulation patterns that might help lower their risk of developing chronic pain, reports a study in PAIN, the official publication of the International Association ...

Recommended for you

Major cause of dementia discovered

December 11, 2017
An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of a major cause of dementia, with important implications for possible treatment and diagnosis.

Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer's

December 7, 2017
Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers ...

Genetics study suggests that education reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease

December 7, 2017
The theory that education protects against Alzheimer's disease has been given further weight by new research from the University of Cambridge, funded by the European Union. The study is published today in the BMJ.

Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's

December 6, 2017
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and neurodegeneration worldwide. A major hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of toxic plaques in the brain, formed by the abnormal aggregation of a protein called ...

Alzheimer's damage in mice reduced with compound that targets APOE gene

December 6, 2017
People who carry the APOE4 genetic variant face a substantial risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Lithium in water associated with slower rate of Alzheimer's disease deaths

December 5, 2017
Rates of diabetes and obesity, which are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, also decrease if there is a particular amount of lithium in the water, says the study, published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.