This syndrome is marked by chronic pain that stems from damage to the central nervous system. The damage can be caused by stroke, MS, tumors, and several other conditions. The pain, which is typically constant and may be severe, can affect a large part of the body or be confined to smaller areas such as the hands or feet. The pain often can be made worse by movement, touch, emotions, and temperature changes.
A stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injuries can result in chronic pain and burning syndromes from damage to brain regions. Read this brief overview.
Central pain syndrome is a neurological condition caused by dysfunction that specifically affects the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord.
The disorder occurs in people who have -- or who have experienced -- strokes, multiple sclerosis, limb amputations, brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries and may develop months or years after injury or damage to the CNS.
What Are the Symptoms of Central Pain Syndrome?
Central pain syndrome is characterized by a mixture of pain sensations, the most prominent being a constant burning. The steady burning sensation is sometimes increased by light touch. Pain also increases in the presence of temperature changes, most often cold temperatures. A loss of sensation can occur in affected areas, most prominently on distant parts of the body, such as the hands and feet. There may be brief, intolerable bursts of sharp pain on occasion.
How Is Central Pain Syndrome Treated?
Pain medications often provide little or no relief for those affected by central pain syndrome; however, some antidepressants and anticonvulsants can be useful in treating central pain syndrome. Doctors recommend people with the condition be sedated and the nervous system kept quiet and as free from stress as possible.