Neuropathic pain syndrome displayed by malingerers

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. Summer 2010;22(3):278-86. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2010.22.3.278.


Among 237 patients communicating chronic pain, associated with sensory-motor and "autonomic" displays, qualifying taxonomically for neuropathic pain, there were 16 shown through surveillance to be malingerers. When analyzed through neurological methods, their profile was characteristically atypical. There were no objective equivalents of peripheral or central processes impairing nerve impulse transmission. In absence of medical explanation, all 16 had been adjudicated, by default, the label complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The authors emphasize that CRPS patients may not only harbor unrecognized pathology ("lesion") of the nervous system (CRPS II), hypothetical central neuronal "dysfunction" (CRPS I), or conversion disorder, but may display a recognizable simulated illness without neuropsychiatric pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia / diagnosis*
  • Severity of Illness Index