Phantom Limb Pain: a case of maladaptive CNS plasticity?
Herta Flor, Lone Nikolajsen, and Troels Staehelin Jensen, Department of Clinical and Cognitive NeuroScience, University of Heidelberg
Nature Reviews, November 2006; Vol.7: 873-881.
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is described as pain in a body part that has been amputated. Previously this pain has been thought to be psychological in origin or to stem from pathologic changes in the amputation stump. More recent studies are pointing to PLP being a phenomenon of the CNS that is related to plastic changes in the brain stem, spinal cord, and cortex. This article discusses the pathophysiologic mechanisms of specific peripheral and central changes that may explain this phenomenon.
Reviewer: Kristin Garlanger, OMS-IV, CCOM, Educational Committee Co-Chair, AOCPMR Student Council