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Pubmed-Pain and functional neurological disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2024 Feb 21:jnnp-2023-332810. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2023-332810. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Functional neurological disorder (FND) is characterised by neurological symptoms, such as seizures and abnormal movements. Despite its significance to patients, the clinical features of chronic pain in people with FND, and of FND in people with chronic pain, have not been comprehensively studied.

METHODS: We systematically reviewed PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO for studies of chronic pain in adults with FND and FND in patients with chronic pain. We described the proportions of patients reporting pain, pain rating and timing, pain-related diagnoses and responsiveness to treatment. We performed random effects meta-analyses of the proportions of patients with FND who reported pain or were diagnosed with pain-related disorders.

RESULTS: Seven hundred and fifteen articles were screened and 64 were included in the analysis. Eight case-control studies of 3476 patients described pain symptoms in a higher proportion of patients with FND than controls with other neurological disorders. A random effects model of 30 cohorts found that an estimated 55% (95% CI 46% to 64%) of 4272 patients with FND reported pain. Random effects models estimated diagnoses of complex regional pain syndrome in 22% (95% CI 6% to 39%) of patients, irritable bowel syndrome in 16% (95% CI 9% to 24%) and fibromyalgia in 10% (95% CI 8% to 13%). Five studies of FND diagnoses among 361 patients with chronic pain were identified. Most interventions for FND did not ameliorate pain, even when other symptoms improved.

CONCLUSIONS: Pain symptoms and pain-related diagnoses are common in FND. Classification systems and treatments should routinely consider pain as a comorbidity in patients with FND.

PMID:38383157 | DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2023-332810

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