Sensorimotor retuning [corrected] in complex regional pain syndrome parallels pain reduction

Ann Neurol. 2005 Mar;57(3):425-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.20394.


Patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and intractable pain showed a shrinkage of cortical maps on primary (SI) and secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) contralateral to the affected limb. This was paralleled by an impairment of the two-point discrimination thresholds. Behavioral treatment over 1 to 6 months consisting of graded sensorimotor retuning led to a persistent decrease in pain intensity, which was accompanied by a restoration of the impaired tactile discrimination and regaining of cortical map size in contralateral SI and SII. This suggests that the reversal of tactile impairment and cortical reorganization in CRPS is associated with a decrease in pain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Differential Threshold
  • Feedback, Psychological / physiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Threshold / psychology*
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / physiopathology
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / therapy*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / blood supply
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiopathology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Oxygen