Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

Central pain syndrome is also called as CPS, Dejerine-Roussy syndrome, central post-stroke syndrome, central neuropathy, thalamic hyperesthetic anesthesia, posterior thalamic syndrome, thalamic pain syndrome, retrolenticular syndrome.

What is Central Pain Syndrome or CPS?

Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

Central pain syndrome or CPS is usually characterised as a neurological disorder that occurs due to a dysfunction that particularly disturbs the central nervous system or CNS that involves the spinal cord, brainstem, and brain. Pain in central pain syndrome can be mild, moderate or severe in nature.

Central pain syndrome is very frequent among individuals who have either experienced or are experiencing conditions like multiple sclerosis, strokes, limb amputations, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries or brain tumors. It is not necessary that the symptoms should start as soon as the CNS is injured, they may start months or sometimes years after the injury had occurred.

Central pain syndrome is a condition that carries very diversifying effects with it. Therefore it is not necessary that all the patients suffering with central pain syndrome experience the same pain. The influence of central pain syndrome on every individual is different as few patients may experience chronic pain in the whole body whereas few others may experience pain just in some particular regions. Generally patients complain of continuous pain, which is sometimes described as a tingling or burning sensation.

Epidemiology for Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

Central pain syndrome has been found to affect millions of people worldwide. About 8 to 10 percent of people suffering with a stroke often develop central pain syndrome. About 33 percent people who suffered a spinal cord injury also develop pain.

Causes of Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

Causes of Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

As discussed earlier central pain syndrome is a disorder that occurs when damage is caused to the central nervous system i.e. CNS that involves the spinal cord, brainstem, and brain. Given below are the common causes that may result in central pain syndrome because of this kind of damage.

  • Epilepsy.
  • Stroke.
  • Tumors.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Trauma.
  • Parkinson’s disease.

Symptoms of Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

Symptoms of central pain syndrome usually vary with each patient depending upon the severity of the disorder. Given below are various symptoms of central pain syndrome experienced by various patients.

  • Blend of pain sensations.
  • Burning pain may also be experienced occasionally.
  • Constant pain.
  • Aching pain.
  • Periodical sharp pain.
  • Cutting pain.
  • Pain may also exacerbate on just slightly touching the affected area.
  • Loss of sensation in the affected regions specifically on the parts like feet, hands and face.
  • Exacerbation of pain due to cold temperature.
  • Poor response to pain medications.
  • Exacerbation of pain while performing activities.
  • Pain may also exacerbate sometimes with just emotional expressions.

Treatment for Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

There is no proper treatment available for central pain syndrome. Treatment process often concentrates on controlling the pain and not the disorder. However, it cannot be assured that pain medications would relieve the pain completely in central pain syndrome, but anticonvulsants and antidepressants can be helpful in relieving the pain to some extent.

Apart from this, decreased stress and prevention from external factors that exacerbate the pain could also help in keeping the condition under control.

Diagnosis of Central Pain Syndrome or CPS

Review of patients medical history and a thorough subjective examination needs to be performed looking for specific symptoms implicating central pain syndrome.

It is important to ignore all the other pain conditions before diagnosing central pain syndrome.

Tests Performed To Diagnose Central Pain Syndrome May Include:

  • MRI.
  • CT scan.
  • X-ray.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: September 29, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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