People with vascular dementia have heightened susceptibility to pain unpleasantness

Takeaway

  • Vascular dementia is associated with higher ratings of pain unpleasantness in response to evoked heat pain stimuli.

Why this matters

  • Although observational studies have suggested that people with vascular dementia have heightened pain sensitivity, validated data in a controlled setting are lacking. This novel study utilized standardized thermal pain psychophysical testing to assess temperature intensities eliciting mild and moderate pain percepts, and the unpleasantness ratings in people with vascular dementia.

  • The findings provide validation of prior clinical work suggesting increased susceptibility to pain, particularly its affective component, in people with vascular dementia, and highlight the need for increased clinical vigilance and pain management to prevent unnecessary suffering in these individuals.