Central pain syndrome

Introduction:

Central Pain is the name for a pain syndrome which occurs when injury to the Central Nervous System is insufficient to cause numbness but sufficient to cause central sensitization of the pain system.
Reflecting the neuron of choice of the original nerve physiologists, nearly everything taught in medical school about basic nerve physiology derived from studies of motor nerves. Because sensory nerves behave almost nothing like motor nerves, the behavior of Central Pain may seem anti-intuitive to those fed a diet of motor nerve physiology for most of their training.
The process can become so violent that the thalamus, the brain pain center, records "bursts" of impulses from these injured nerves. After sufficient bombardment threatens neuron death in the thalamus, it "shuts down". Central Pain apparently occurs at this point. Radiostimulation of the spinothalamic tract, which causes no sensation in people without Central Pain, recreates the sensation of Central Pain in those who have the condition. It is as if the entire pain system is acting like a nerve ending. Ungated pain signals thus reach the cortex, causing unbearable suffering.

Causes:

The list of possible underlying conditions mentioned in various sources for Central Pain Syndrome includes:
  • Brain trauma
  • CNS trauma
  • Strokes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Limb amputations

Treatment:

Treatment for central pain syndrome (CPS) has varying degrees of success. Some are able to manage it with medications, generally anti-convulsants and anti-depressants. But finding the right medication regimen takes time.
�Narcotics are the best drugs for pain because they bind to pain receptors specifically. Narcotic analgesics like morphine, methadone and heroin are very effective. If it gets where you�re taking too much, you can get an implantable pump. Because you are putting the drug right in the spine, you can use tiny amounts that just affect the nervous system, so you don�t get a lot of the side effects that you get when taking it orally or by injection.�
The absolute last resort is neurosurgery, such as deep brain stimulation where an electrode is implanted and sends stimulation to the pain receptors. Finding the right doctor is crucial. Some find the right one on their first neurologist visit. Others have to go through many before finding the one who believes them and begins the treatment process.
Pain Medics Copyrights. © 2007 Pain Medics. All rights reserved