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What is Central Pain Syndrome?


Updated January 20, 2010

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Definition: Central pain syndrome is a chronic neuropathic pain disorder caused by damage to the central nervous system. It can occur after a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury. However, it can also be present along with conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.

Central pain syndrome may present differently depending on the area of the nervous system that was damaged. Pain may be localized in a small area of the body, or may be widespread. The pain associated with central pain syndrome is often described as sharp, burning, or like pins and needles. For many, the pain is constant.

Central pain syndrome may be treated with adjuvant analgesics, such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants.


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS Central Pain Syndrome Information Page. Accessed 1/16/10. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/central_pain/central_pain.htm

Also Known As: thalamic pain syndrome, Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome, post stroke pain
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