Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weeks after stroke, some patients develop chronic, debilitating pain

Date:
May 8, 2013
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Nearly 1 in 10 stroke patients suffer chronic and debilitating pain, typically described as sharp, stabbing or burning. It is treatable with medications and magnetic or electrical stimulation of the brain. But physicians often fail to correctly diagnose the condition.

Nearly 1 in 10 stroke patients suffer chronic and debilitating pain, typically described as sharp, stabbing or burning.

Related Articles


It's called central poststroke pain syndrome (CPSP). It was first described more than 100 years ago, and it is treatable with medications and magnetic or electrical stimulation of the brain. But physicians today often fail to correctly diagnose the condition, Loyola University Medical Center stroke specialists report in the journal Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.

The article is written by Murray Flaster, MD, PhD, Edwin Meresh, MD, Murali Rao, MD and Jose Biller, MD.

CPSP is a form of neuropathic pain caused by damage or dysfunction within the central nervous system. It typically begins days or weeks after a stroke. One study found that 63 percent of patients were affected within one month, 18 percent within six months and the remaining 18 percent after six months.

Patients can experience hyperpathia (abnormally painful reaction to a painful stimulus) or allodynia (pain in response to a light touch, contact with clothing or bed sheets, air currents, etc.) Allodynia is reported in two-thirds of CPSP patients.

The prevalence of CPSP among stroke patients is 8 percent, but can range from 1 percent to 12 percent. It is among several types of poststroke pain, which also include headache and musculoskeletal pain, especially pain related to abnormal shoulder movement.

"There are many causes of postroke pain, and these frequently coexist in our patients," the authors write. "It is crucial to recognize CPSP and differentiate it from musculoskeletal pain or spasticity-associated pain."

First-line drug treatments for CPSP include amitriptyline (an antidepressant) and lamotrigine (an anticonvulsant). Second-line treatment includes the anticonvulsant gabapentin.

If medications don't work, a non-invasive therapy called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) should be considered. TMS sends short pulses of magnetic fields to the brain.

If drugs and TMS both fail, invasive therapies that electrically stimulate the brain should be considered in carefully selected patients. The treatments involve inserting electrodes into the membrane covering the brain (motor cortex stimulation) or into the brain itself (deep brain stimulation).

CPSP was first described in a medical journal in 1906. (It was then called "thalamic syndrome.") More than a century later, CPSP still is frequently misdiagnosed.

"CPSP is treatable," Flaster, Meresh, Rao and Biller write. "Recognition of the syndrome in and of itself can be reassuring to the patient."

Flaster is an associate professor in the departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Meresh is an assistant professor and Rao is a professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. Biller is professor and chair of the Department of Neurology.

The title of their article is "Central Poststroke Pain: Current Diagnosis and Treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Weeks after stroke, some patients develop chronic, debilitating pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508122841.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2013, May 8). Weeks after stroke, some patients develop chronic, debilitating pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508122841.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Weeks after stroke, some patients develop chronic, debilitating pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508122841.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins