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:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cancer—affecting the brain or central nervous system
- Spinal cord injury
- Physical trauma
- Exposure to radiation or certain toxins such as lead or mercury
- Infection (bacterial or viral)
- Cervical myelopathy
- Posterior or Transverse myelitis
- Tethered cord syndrome
- Vascular or Arteriovenous malformations
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Any condition that causes nerve demyelination or other nerve or brain damage
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.