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Pain in Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy, Type 1

      The article by Gagnon et al
      • Gagnon C.
      • Mathieu J.
      • Jean S.
      • et al.
      Predictors of disrupted social participation in myotonic dystrophy type 1.
      in the July 2008 issue nicely identified personal and environmental factors that may influence the trajectory toward disrupted participation in individuals with myotonic muscular dystrophy type 1 (DM1). The factors they identified that were found to be independent predictors of disrupted participation included fatigue, strength, and family support. Unfortunately, this study did not address an additional issue that many individuals with DM1 must deal with: chronic pain. Pain as a cause of impaired community and social integration, as well as diminished quality of life is frequently overlooked, despite clearly being identified as a major problem for this patient population.
      • Jensen M.P.
      • Hoffman A.J.
      • Abresch R.T.
      • Carter G.T.
      • McDonald C.M.
      Chronic pain in persons with myotonic and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
      We raise this point primarily to make readers more aware of a problem that seems to be continually overlooked. Indeed many major medical textbooks still describe this disorder, as well as other neuromuscular diseases, as being “painless,” which is clearly not the case. We congratulate the authors on an otherwise excellent study.
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      References

        • Gagnon C.
        • Mathieu J.
        • Jean S.
        • et al.
        Predictors of disrupted social participation in myotonic dystrophy type 1.
        Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008; 89: 1246-1255
        • Jensen M.P.
        • Hoffman A.J.
        • Abresch R.T.
        • Carter G.T.
        • McDonald C.M.
        Chronic pain in persons with myotonic and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
        Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008; 89: 320-328