Objectives: This case-control study explored pain experience and expression among individuals with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) through parental report, tactile sensory testing, and infrared thermography (IRT). Materials and Methods: Participants with NCL (n=8; M=14.8 y) and their unaffected siblings (n=8;M=23.5 y) were characterized in terms of pain response to a brief tactile sensory test (light touch, Von Frey monofilament). During sensory testing, behavioral expression was measured using the Battens Observational Pain Scale and infrared thermography (IRT) was used to quantify changes in skin/eye temperature. Results: Children with NCL experienced pain frequently and from multiple sources that negatively impacted their lives. Children with NCL were reactive to the sensory testing as indexed by significant increased IRT temperature change (P<0.001). Across combined sensory conditions, individuals with NCL were significantly more reactive (Battens Observational Pain Scale total score) to sensory testing compared with siblings (P<0.05). Similarly, IRT difference scores between sensory conditions revealed a significant increase in temperature for individuals with NCL compared with siblings (P<0.001). Discussion: Ongoing reported pain was a problem for the children with NCL in this sample. Increased pain expression during the repeated Von Frey filament suggests that the pathophysiology of the ongoing pain may be centrally mediated.
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- Batten disease
- Central sensitization
- Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
- Sensory test