What causes thalamic syndrome in a hemiplegic shoulder?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Robert Gould, DO; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Thalamic syndrome (also termed central poststroke pain, analgesia dolorosa, Dejerine-Roussy syndrome) usually occurs in less than 5% of stroke survivors, but it is found in 50% of persons who have had a thalamic stroke. The pain can evolve spontaneously or can be evoked by touch, and it is often severe, diffuse, and disabling. Patients describe the pain as burning, tingling ("pins and needles"), sharp, shooting, stabbing, gnawing, dull, or achy. This pain often is refractory to treatment.

The patient also relates experiencing hyperpathia (an exaggerated pain reaction to mild external cutaneous stimulation).

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