Is Chronic Pain Linked to ADHD?

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A new study suggests that there's a link between chronic pain and ADHD.

The study, presented last week at PAINWeek 2015 in Las Vegas, concluded that more than a third of people with ongoing "central pain" may also have ADHD. 

Researchers analyzed 16-item questionnaires that were filled out by 45 people with chronic pain who had been attending treatment clinics. Questions revolved around a patient's concentration, attention, distractibility, impulsivity, reading and retention, coordination, temper, and short-term memory.

A positive answer to five or more questions on the questionnaire was considered to indicate ADHD. The findings revealed that 37.8% of the people met this criteria for the disorder.

Study author Forest Tennant, MD, of Intractable Pain Management, told WebMD that the report might help expxlain why some individuals suffering from pain have trouble witth activities during their daily lives.

"For years, I've seen the same kind of ADD in these patients that you see in children -- they can't remember half the time, they can't concentrate," he said. "It's amazing how many of these patients actually quit reading or doing things, but they won't tell you."

Once these individuals started taking medications for ADHD, their pain subsided.

Tennant did point out, however, that that the study's findings do not apply to those patients with arthritis or neuropathic pain.

Three-quarters of kids with ADHD take medication
A new study suggests that there's a link between chronic pain and ADHD.
More than a third of people with ongoing "central pain" may also have ADHD, a small study suggests. Central pain stems from damage to the central nervous system -- the brain, brain stem and spinal cord.
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