NYMC Faculty Publications

Pain Phenotypes in Rare Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular Diseases

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Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

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Review Article

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For patients diagnosed with a rare musculoskeletal or neuromuscular disease, pain may transition from acute to chronic; the latter yielding additional challenges for both patients and care providers. We assessed the present understanding of pain across a set of ten rare, noninfectious, noncancerous disorders; Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Achondroplasia, Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, Fibrous Dysplasia/McCune-Albright Syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Infantile- and Late-Onset Pompe disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Through the integration of natural history, cross-sectional, retrospective, clinical trials, & case studies we described pathologic and genetic factors, pain sources, phenotypes, and lastly, existing therapeutic approaches. We highlight that while rare diseases possess distinct core pathologic features, there are a number of shared pain phenotypes and mechanisms that may be prospectively examined and therapeutically targeted in a parallel manner. Finally, we describe clinical and research approaches that may facilitate more accurate diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of pain as well as elucidation of the evolving nature of pain phenotypes in rare musculoskeletal or neuromuscular illnesses.