Influence of dementia on pain

E Scherder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the next decades the number of older persons with dementia and with a painful condition will increase. This is an important conclusion since at this moment older persons with dementia and a painful condition receive less analgesic medication than older persons without dementia. One explanation for undertreatment is the complexity of pain assessment in people with dementia. Besides self-report pain rating scales which are applied to communicative patients, observation scales are used for those who are not able to communicate about pain anymore. Autonomic responses to pain appear not to be reliable in patients with dementia. Studies show that it is important to make a distinction between the sensory/discriminative aspects and the motivational/affective aspects of pain. These two aspects of pain are processed by the lateral and medial pain system, respectively. With reference to both pain systems, results from clinical studies examining the experience of pain in patients with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia will be briefly discussed
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)182 - 185
JournalTijdschrift voor Verpleeghuisgeneeskunde
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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