RSD/ Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Here is my newest grand- daughter, Ellie Grace, joined with her brother Connor, who is 2 yrs old.
Ellie was 3 weeks early, but someone miscalculated, because she weighed 8 lbs and was 19 in long- fully developed. Her mom is my oldest child- 35 years and time to stop now before something would go wrong.

This is the latest technology news concerning changes in my brain.
I got this article in full off my RSD group, I belong too.

"Scientists peered at the brains of people with a baffling chronic pain condition and discovered something surprising. Their brains looked like an inept cable guy had changed the hookups, rewiring the areas related to emotion, pain perception and the temperature of their skin. The new finding by scientists at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, begins to explain a mysterious condition that the medical community had doubted was real.

The people whose brains were examined have a chronic pain condition called complex region pain syndrome (CRPS.) It's a pernicious and nasty condition that usually begins with an injury causing significant damage to the hand or the foot. For the majority of people, the pain from the injury disappears once the limb is healed. But for 5 percent of the patients, the pain rages on long past the healing, sometimes for the rest of people's lives. About 200,00 people in the U.S. have this condition.

In a hand injury, for example, the pain may radiate from the initial injury site and spread to the whole arm or even the entire body. People also experience changes in skin color to blue or red as well as skin temperature (hotter at first, then becoming colder as the condition turns chronic.) Their immune system also shifts into overdrive, indicated by a hike in blood immune markers.

The changes in the brain take place in the network of tiny, white "cables" that dispatch messages between the neurons. This is called the brain's white matter. Several years ago, Northwestern researchers discovered chronic pain caused the regions in the brain that contain the neurons -- called gray matter because of it looks gray -- to atrophy.

This is the first study to link pain with changes in the brain's white matter. It will be published November 26 in the journal Neuron.

"This is the first evidence of brain abnormality in these patients," said A. Vania Apkarian, professor of physiology at the Feinberg School and principal investigator of the study. " People didn't believe these patients. This is the first proof that there is a biological underpinning for the condition. Scientists have been trying to understand this baffling condition for a long time."

Apkarian said people with CRPS suffer intensely and have a high rate of suicide. "Physicians don't know what to do," he said. "We don't have the tools to take care of them."

The new findings provide anatomical targets for scientists, who can now look for potential pharmaceutical treatments to help these patients, Apkarian said. He doesn't know yet if chronic pain causes these changes in the brain or if CRPS patients' brains have pre-existing abnormalities that predispose them to this condition.

In the new study, the brains of 22 subjects with CRPS and 22 normal subjects were examined with an anatomical MRI and a diffusion tensor MRI, which enabled scientists to view the white matter. In addition to changes in white matter, the CRPS patients' brains showed an atrophy of neurons or gray matter similar to what has been previously shown in other types of chronic pain patients.

Apkarian said the white matter changes in patients' brains is related to the duration and intensity of their pain and their anxiety. It is likely that white matter reorganizes in other chronic pain conditions as well, but that has not yet been studied, he noted.

Source: Northwestern University

Wow what new scientic research has found. It explains my emotional lows, anxiety, pain perceptions ( I read that as we take pain meds-, and our pain medication is absorbed about 20-30% of them are used in my body. It explains my lower immune system problems, and my suicidal thoughts. I cannot do household things like cooking, baking, cleaning, and typing with only 1 hand.
I sleep into the afternoon now

I am so down- that I am not participating in my fibro group, and I am disappointed how low in number of RSD people who participate. I know I have not lost any weight. I need prayers for healing - I have been praying continually for the RSD to leave. My RSD leg is 1 " atrophied more than the other. I am hot always when others are wearing sweaters. I was on the site itself where they demonstrated the short circuts in my brain- unfortunately when I had a brain injury in my old marriage- they did not know this stuff.
Well that's my update on my RSD/ CRPS.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hello! I have no idea how I got here through the blogs, but apparently Creator led me. I have had RSD since 4/2003. You are right about one thing, people who are healthy just don't get it. They just don't understand the "pain" involved with RSD. My wrists are almost completely atrophied. My depression brought on breast cancer and the RSD spread like wild fire. I ended getting two nerve block shots before I started the breast reconstruction. The "pain" for me seemed to accumulate more acreage after the port was put in. Then it graduated in a matter of hours after my mastectomy. When the "pain" gets out of control I have black outs, can barely move, and it's the "pain" that keeps me awake. I seem to be doing nerve block shots about every two years. Your memory is shot to sh**t, you are thankful for the cell phone so you can keep track of the day, the month and the hour. My boyfriend resotred to writing all of my doctor appts. in neon lime green on the calendar for me. There have been times I should not have been driving!
    CANDLEWIC9 I do understand the "pain", the depression, the sleepless nights, the exhaustion from the continueous "pain" that seems to age our body quicker. My lower lumbar took a dump about a year after the mastectomy. Standing at the sink is ungodly painful.
    Sweetie, the best medicine for the blues and depression that I have found so far is to get out and walk in NATURE. Just walk a little bit, but be in the woods, along a river or creek, listen to the winds, the birds, the geesse honking as they fly south. Just be out in NATURE as long as you can handle it. I hurt like a dickens after a mile, which takes me a while to get done. I stop and rest on each bench I see that they have built along the path/trail. I have found being in NATURE, meditating and talking my prayers, helps me, my heart to love me, myself and I all the more.
    I have spent thousands of dollars so far, and I do mean thousands of dollars, trying to find alternative remedies and I have tried hundreds. My cubboard is loaded! I didn't want to take all those pain pills because they make you stupid in the head and do absolutely nothing for the pain.
    I know what you mean when you can no longer do the things you once did. I actually had to figure out a "different way" to wipe my butt for heavens sake! You can't hold a hair brush to brush your hair. You can't use pressure to even cut your toast. People and doctor's just don't get it when you say that you can't do it. You really can't do it. If I push my hands, they spasm for over an hour. Shake, shake, shake and tremble some more! It's embaressing and fustrating.
    I wasn't eligible for the cerebral implant in the neck to control the pain, it's become arthritic.
    There's only a few other things that seem to help some. I get an herbal product from called CAL/MAG/POTASSIUM. It's a liquid you take 2-3 @ day. I also started juicing my breakfast and sometimes all three meals, to get the best of fresh fruits and vegetables all at once in liquid form. Otherwise, I live on IB Prophin when it's bad.
    CANDLEWIC9, please take into your heart some aswered prayers that you are not alone. If anything, I'm on this Sparks club to loose weight too - but I haven't lost a pound!! I follow the nutrition guide as best as I can, I try to walk a mile every day, actually I'm almost up to two full miles.
    The hot flashes of menopause can be figured out with a little help. The herba healers has a wonder Woman's Balance. Great stuff. I am 57, I have worked since I was 14 years old. My life, my independence, came to a screetching halt 4/2003. It hasn't been the same since. I know what you mean when people harp about not working, getting ssi, and doing nothing all day. They don't understand that you can't! They never will unless it happens to them. Just love them anyways. It is our courage and stamina that is our strongest assets. We can do it. Hang in there CANDLEWIC. Just give me a blog or email. I'm here. I don't work either. I hang out on the computer or I read alot of self-help, spiritual awakening, and just good books to keep me alive and well in my heart.
    4024 days ago
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