Central Pain Syndrome
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Central Pain Syndrome is not the name you expected.
Central pain syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by damage to the sensory pathways of the central nervous system (CNS). Common symptoms include pain (but also pruritus) and loss of sensation, usually in the face, arms and/or legs. Pain is often constant (but can be intermittent) and can be mild, moderate, or severe in intensity. Affected individuals may become hypersensitive to painful stimuli. The specific type of pain experience can vary from one individual to another based, in part, upon the underlying cause of the disorder and the area of the central nervous system affected. Central pain syndrome can potentially disrupt an individual's daily routine. In severe cases, the pain can be agonizing and unrelenting and dramatically affect a person's quality of life. Central pain syndrome can develop following a variety of conditions including stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, brain tumors, or iatrogenic damage to the central nervous system.
Central pain was first described in 1891 by German neurologist L. Edinger. For years, it was believed that the majority of cases of central pain syndrome were due to damage of the thalamus most often caused by a stroke. Later on, the disorder came to be labelled Dejerine-Roussy syndrome after the two French neurologists who described the so-called thalamic syndrome (1906), which included a pain component. Thereafter, and up until recently, central pain became synonymous with thalamic pain syndrome. However, researchers now know that damage to the pain-conducting pathways anywhere along the neural axis, from the spinal cord to the sensory cortex, can cause central pain syndrome, including cases following injury or a stroke. Consequently, the current name for this group of disorders is central pain syndrome to acknowledge that damage to various areas of the CNS (and not predominantly the thalamus) can cause central pain and that a stroke is not necessarily the primary cause. Central pain syndrome can be broken down into central pain of brain or brainstem origin or central pain of spinal cord origin. The term for the specific subtype of central pain syndrome caused by CNS damage due to a stroke is central post-stroke pain.
American Chronic Pain Association
- P.O. Box 850
- Rocklin, CA 95677
- Tel: (916)632-0922
- Fax: (916)652-8190
- Tel: (800)533-3231
- Email: ACPA@theacpa.org
- Website: http://www.theacpa.org
American Pain Society
- 8735 W. Higgins Road
- Suite 300
- Chicago, IL 60631
- Tel: 847.375.4715
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.ampainsoc.org
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
- PO Box 8126
- Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
- Tel: (301)251-4925
- Fax: (301)251-4911
- Tel: (888)205-2311
- Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/
International Association for the Study of Pain
- IASP Secretariat
- 1510 H Street NW
- Washington, DC 20005-1020
- Tel: (202)524-5300
- Fax: (202)524-5301
- Email: IASPdesk@iasp-pain.org
- Website: http://www.iasp-pain.org
Irish Chronic Pain Association
- Coleraine House, Coleraine St.
- Dublin, 7
- Tel: 35318047567
- Fax: 35318047567
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: http://www.chronicpain.ie
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- P.O. Box 5801
- Bethesda, MD 20824
- Tel: (301)496-5751
- Fax: (301)402-2186
- Tel: (800)352-9424
- Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
- c/o Dannemiller, Inc.
- 5711 Northwest Parkway
- San Antonio, TX 78246
- Tel: (210)641-8311
- Fax: (210)641-8329
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.pain.com
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
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This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
Last Updated: 4/30/2015
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