What is Central Pain Syndrome?
“What is Central Pain Syndrome?”
Central Pain Syndrome is a lifelong neurological disease of the Central Nervous System, which causes constant, unending, agonizing pain signals of all somatic types simultaneously. It is caused by lesions on the somatic pathways in the brain, brainstem, and/or spinal cord, which can be the result of disease or injury. There is presently no cure, and any treatments are few and of limited efficacy.
The current definition of Central Pain Syndrome given in the Introduction to the textbook “Central Pain Syndrome: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management,” by Canavero and Bonicalzi (2 nd Edition, 2013) is: Spontaneous and/or evoked, anomalous, painful or non-painful, sensations projected in a body area congruent with a clearly imaged lesion impairing – transitorily or permanently – the function of the spinothalamoparietal thermoalgesic pathway.
Central Pain Syndrome as defined above has an estimated 3 million sufferers in the United States, with many, if not most, of them undiagnosed and treated ineffectively. Some of the primary causes of CPS lesions include:
- Head and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Surgery on the brain and spinal cord
- Closed Head Injuries
These diseases or injuries leave lesions which affect the somatic pathways of the Central Nervous System. CPS pain is perceived in the areas of the body of which their pain signals are transmitted along these injured pathways. The types of pain perceived are extreme in effect, and may be described as:
- Spasticity and Cramping
Depending on the size and location(s) of the CPS-responsible lesions, these pain sensations may be located in one discrete area, such as a hand or foot, or encompass the entire body. Over time, the pain sensations involve larger and larger areas of the body as “kindling” damages ever greater numbers of neurons.
It is estimated that close to 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from CPS. It is aggressive, never ending and disabling, making normal life immensely painful and incredibly difficult.
The medications and treatments used to fight it are very limited and highly ineffective. There is presently no cure.
Which is why the Central Pain Syndrome Foundation was founded and organized. The mission of the Central Pain Syndrome Foundation is:
- To increase understanding of Central Pain Syndrome, its symptoms, causes, and treatments;
- To help ensure quality medical care for those suffering from CPS;
- To energize science to find a better treatments, and eventually a cure for the disease;
- To improve the lives of patients, their caregivers and families;
- To create a network of people dedicated to achieving these goals
About The Author: Lisa is currently a Power of Pain Foundation Delegate and the Vice President of the Central Pain Syndrome Foundation; CPSFoundation . She has 20+ years of experience as a Paralegal Specialist in criminal law. It was while working in this position she suffered a stroke causing Central Pain Syndrome along with Grave’s Disease, post cancer and thyroidectomy. As a cancer and stroke survivor since 2002, she believes it is important to spread awareness and obtain research for Central Pain Syndrome to help others and their families. Lisa is also a published author of: At The End of The Day .