A new research review concludes that people with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment have altered responses to pain, with many conditions associated with increased pain sensitivity.

The new review is in contrast to the previous belief that people with cognitive impairment (CI) have reduced sensitivity to pain.The research team analyzed previous studies on pain responses in cognitively impaired patients.

The topic is an important one, as many patients with CI — which can result from a wide range of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, or even normal aging — have “sustained and complex health care needs” involving pain.

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