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Sensory disturbances in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: clinical observations, autonomic interactions, and possible mechanisms

Drummond, P.D. (2010) Sensory disturbances in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: clinical observations, autonomic interactions, and possible mechanisms. Pain Medicine, 11 (8). pp. 1257-1266.

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    Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00912.x
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    Abstract

    To review mechanisms that might contribute to sensory disturbances and sympathetically-maintained pain in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is associated with a range of sensory and autonomic abnormalities. In a subpopulation of patients, sympathetic nervous system arousal and intradermal injection of adrenergic agonists intensify pain. Mechanisms responsible for sensory abnormalities in CRPS include sensitization of primary afferent nociceptors and spinothalamic tract neurons, disinhibition of central nociceptive neurons, and reorganization of thalamo-cortical somatosensory maps. Proposed mechanisms of sympathetically-maintained pain include adrenergic excitation of sensitized nociceptors in the CRPS-affected limb, and interaction between processes within the central nervous system that modulate nociception and emotional responses. Central mechanisms could involve adrenergic facilitation of nociceptive transmission in the dorsal horn or thalamus, and/or depletion of bulbo-spinal opioids or tolerance to their effects. Sympathetic neural activity might contribute to pain and sensory disturbances in CRPS by feeding into nociceptive circuits at the site of injury or elsewhere in the CRPS-affected limb, within the dorsal horn, or via thalamo-cortical projections.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology
    Publisher: Wiley
    Copyright: American Academy of Pain Medicine
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2907
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