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Mar 06 2013

RSD/CRPS pain: Abnormal Gray-White Brain Matter Interactions in Emotional and Autonomic Regions

Posted in RSD/CRPS
Neuroscience and clinical research recently completed by the National Institute of Health shows irreversible abnormal brain reactions to due to RSD/CRPS  , says Alabama liability attorney Keith T. Belt . The National Institute of Health investigated gray matter morphometry and white matter anisotropy in RSD/CRPS patients and matched controls. Patients exhibited: 1) a disrupted relationship between white matter anisotropy and whole-brain gray matter volume. 2) gray matter atrophy in a single cluster encompassing right insula, right ventromedial pre-frontal cortex (VMPFC), and right nucleus accumbens. 3) a decrease in fractional anisotropy in the left cingulum-callosal bundle. Reorganization of white matter connectivity in these regions was characterized by branching pattern alterations, and increased (VMPFC to insula) and decreased connectivity (VMPFC to basal ganglion). While regional atrophy deferentially related to pain intensity and duration, the strength of connectivity between specific atrophied regions related to anxiety. These abnormalities encompass emotional, autonomic, and pain perception regions, implying that they likely play a critical role in the global clinical picture of RSD/ CRPS. Accelerated brain gray matter loss accounts for premature aging of the brain Using voxel-based morphometric analysis of magnetic resonance brain images, patients brains were examined and compared to healthy controls. It was found that fibromyalgia patients (as with RSD/CRPS) had significantly less total gray matter volume and showed a 3.3 times greater age-associated decrease in gray matter than healthy controls. The longer the individuals had Central Nervous System damage, the greater the gray matter loss, with each year being equivalent to 9.5 times the loss in normal aging. Full Text While the causal relationship between these changes and RSD/CRPS onset remains unclear, the correlations between brain atrophy and RSD/CRPS duration suggest that at least some of the gray matter changes are a consequence of living with this CNS affliction:
  • touch-evoked pain
  • motor impairments
  • modulation of heart rate
  • abnormalities in cardiovascular responses