A demographic analysis was performed on 1726 patient registration records from 55 countries, at a peer-to-peer social networking website focused on Trigeminal Neuralgia. While some demographic outcomes aligned with sources in medical literature, the patient demographic for first emergence of neurological facial pain was found to be younger than commonly noted in medical literature, by at least 14 years (median age slightly under 41 years, versus “sixth decade” or even “seventh decade” commonly reported). An analysis was performed to evaluate the potential impact of youth bias in this finding, due to the online and self-selected nature of the patient community; youth bias was not assessed as a significant factor in demographic results.
Over a fifth of patients in the demographic self-identified their pain as “Atypical” trigeminal neuralgia. Up to 80% of the demographic was female. In at least a quarter to a third of the demographic, the patient initially mistook their facial pain for a dental problem and saw a dentist as the first medical professional consulted. In less than a quarter of cases involving a dental practitioner, was the pain promptly recognized to be non-dental in character and the patient referred to a medical doctor. In a third of cases seen by a dental practitioner, the patient was treated for non-existent dental problems and pain did not resolve.
Read the rest of the study at Red’s website, Giving Something Back.