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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Central Pain

Central Pain Syndrome (CPS) is a neurological condition caused by an injury to the central nervous system resulting in chronic pain. This syndrome can be caused by stroke, brain or spinal cord trauma, multiple sclerosis or tumors.

CPS is also known as Thalamic Pain Syndrome (Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome), Central Post-Stroke Syndrome, neuropathic central pain and post-spinal cord injury pain.


Some of the more common causes of central pain are:

Symptoms of Central Pain Syndrome

The pain may be described as a constant, deep, burning, aching, cutting or tearing sensation or sudden excruciating bolts of pain. It is often mixed with other bothersome sensations such as cold, tingling, and painful "pins and needles." The skin is often very sensitive, even to light touch, clothing or wind, which can cause severe pain.

While the pain often appears soon after the injury, it can take months or years to appear in some cases. CPS can often cause depression, anxiety, anger and frustration.

Last UpdateDecember 3, 2013