Donate to Central Pain Syndrome Research, Patient Care and Education

Central pain syndrome (CPS) is a neurological condition that causes chronic pain. CPS is the result of an injury to the central nervous system, such as stroke or brain or spinal cord trauma. CPS goes by many names, including thalamic pain syndrome, central post-stroke syndrome, neuropathic central pain and post-spinal cord injury pain.

At Northwestern Medicine, specialists in the neurosciences provide the highest quality of care and treatment to patients with neurological disorders, including CPS. By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation in support of CPS research, you will help scientists at Northwestern Medicine to advance vital studies into the causes of and the most effective treatments for CPS. Your generosity has the power to make a significant difference in the lives of many patients. 

The pain associated with CPS may occur immediately after a trauma, or it may appear months or years later. Patients describe their pain as:

  • Painful “pins and needles”
  • A continual deep, burning, aching, cutting or tearing sensation
  • Sudden excruciating bouts of pain
  • A cold or tingling feeling
  • Intense skin sensitivity

Physicians at Northwestern Medicine are devoted to providing the best treatment options for their patients. Your contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will open the doors for further clinical research in the area of CPS, with the goal of developing medical interventions that will alleviate CPS symptoms.

Currently, there are medical and surgical options available for CPS. Research has shown that narcotics are ineffective in treating CPS. Medications that balance the neurotransmitters in the brain are used to help manage central pain. These medications include:

  • Antidepressants, such asduloxetine, amitriptyline and nortriptyline
  • Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, pregabalin, topiramate and levetiracetam

If medications fail to provide relief to a patient, a surgical procedure may be an option  There are two procedures typically used for patients with CPS:

  • Motor cortex stimulation: electrical pulses are sent to electrodes placed on the area of the brain controlling the painful body area
  • Deep brain stimulation: electrical pulses are sent through small wires placed deep within the brain

Central Pain Syndrome Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Coping with central pain syndrome can make life unbearable. CPS is often an invisible condition; friends and family might have difficulty understanding the intense pain that CPS brings to their loved ones. Because of the nature of the disorder, central pain syndrome can cause depression, anxiety, anger and frustration. Northwestern Medicine’s expert neurologists and neurosurgeons strive every day to bring relief to those suffering from CPS. With your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you can be a part of the care and healing that is provided to patients with CPS who seek treatment at Northwestern Medicine. Your generosity will fuel progress that ultimately will help patients with CPS to reclaim their health and lives.

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