1. Although the number of diagnosed cases of dementia is rapidly increasing in the US, there is little known about pain in this population. 2. Pain assessment is often poorly done and documented, and there is evidence of stereotyping and underestimation of pain by health-care professionals. 3. Demented patients on an Alzheimer's unit displayed markedly atypical pain behaviors that were best assessed by the most experienced nurses. 4. Pain assessment in demented patients is an area requiring further study to determine the best method of assessment and treatment of pain.