Cases reported "Phantom Limb"

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1/21. Painful supernumerary phantom arm following motor cortex stimulation for central poststroke pain. Case report.

    In this report, the authors describe a case in which the patient began to experience a supernumerary phantom arm after she received motor cortex stimulation for central pain. The patient had a history of right thalamocapsular stroke. It is speculated that the motor cortex activation triggered a response in the patient's parietal lobe, precipitating perception of the phantom limb. To the authors' knowledge this is the first reported case of its kind.
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2/21. Beyond re-membering: phantom sensations of congenitally absent limbs.

    Phantom limbs are traditionally conceptualized as the phenomenal persistence of a body part after deafferentation. Previous clinical observations of subjects with phantoms of congenitally absent limbs are not compatible with this view, but, in the absence of experimental work, the neural basis of such "aplasic phantoms" has remained enigmatic. In this paper, we report a series of behavioral, imaging, and neurophysiological experiments with a university-educated woman born without forearms and legs, who experiences vivid phantom sensations of all four limbs. Visuokinesthetic integration of tachistoscopically presented drawings of hands and feet indicated an intact somatic representation of these body parts. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of phantom hand movements showed no activation of primary sensorimotor areas, but of premotor and parietal cortex bilaterally. Movements of the existing upper arms produced activation expanding into the hand territories deprived of afferences and efferences. transcranial magnetic stimulation of the sensorimotor cortex consistently elicited phantom sensations in the contralateral fingers and hand. In addition, premotor and parietal stimulation evoked similar phantom sensations, albeit in the absence of motor evoked potentials in the stump. These data indicate that body parts that have never been physically developed can be represented in sensory and motor cortical areas. Both genetic and epigenetic factors, such as the habitual observation of other people moving their limbs, may contribute to the conscious experience of aplasic phantoms.
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3/21. brain somatic representation of phantom and intact limb: a fMRI study case report.

    Reports on phantom limb patients concerning neuronal reorganization using non-invasive methods have focused mainly on the cortical regions and suggest the presence of pain as the cause of this reorganization. The phantom limb, however, includes other somatic and motor sensations other than pain. Here we describe the results of non-painful stimulation in cortical and subcortical lateralization and reorganization and also examine the involvement of subcortical structures in phantom limb telescoping perception. We describe an enlarged contralateral cortical representation of the stump, a cortical and thalamic bilateral representation of the remaining leg, and a neuronal correlate of a telescoping perception of the phantom limb. The missing leg produces an enlarged cortical representation due to abnormal information and the remaining leg has a bilateral SII representation, which could be related to new, compensatory functions. The telescoping perception of a phantom limb by the stimulation of misallocation points was correlated with lenticular nuclei, thalamic and cingulate gyrus activation.We therefore propose that the reorganization concept of a phantom limb, applied mainly to the cortex, must extend to the thalamic and the somatosensory and motor systems (pathways and relay nuclei).
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4/21. Focal cerebral hyper-perfusion in phantom limbs: assessed by Tc-99m HMPAO SPECT.

    phantom limb pain is a common experience for patients who have received amputation. However, the definite mechanism is still not clear. Here, we describe a patient who suffered from phantom limb pain after left above-elbow amputation. The Tc-99m hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO) brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) study revealed increased regional cerebral blood flow in the right parietal cortex. This finding may imply the involvement of cerebral cortex in the development of phantom limb pain. Further study is worthwhile to elucidate the utility of SPECT and the role of cortex in phantom limb pain.
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5/21. Chronic motor cortex stimulation for phantom limb pain: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study: technical case report.

    OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Chronic motor cortex stimulation has provided satisfactory control of pain in patients with central or neuropathic trigeminal pain. We used this technique in a patient who experienced phantom limb pain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to guide electrode placement and to assist in understanding the control mechanisms involved in phantom limb pain. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 45-year-old man whose right arm had been amputated 2 years previously experienced phantom limb pain and phantom limb phenomena, described as the apparent possibility of moving the amputated hand voluntarily. He was treated with chronic motor cortex stimulation. INTERVENTION: Data from fMRI were used pre- and postoperatively to detect shoulder and stump cortical activated areas and the "virtual" amputated hand cortical area. These sites of preoperative fMRI activation were integrated in an infrared-based frameless stereotactic device for surgical planning. phantom limb virtual finger movement caused contralateral primary motor cortex activation. Satisfactory pain control was obtained; a 70% reduction in the phantom limb pain was achieved on a visual analog scale. Postoperatively and under chronic stimulation, inhibiting effects on the primary sensorimotor cortex as well as on the contralateral primary motor and sensitive cortices were detected by fMRI studies. CONCLUSION: Chronic motor cortex stimulation can be used to relieve phantom limb pain and phantom limb phenomena. Integrated by an infrared-based frameless stereotactic device, fMRI data are useful in assisting the neurosurgeon in electrode placement for this indication. Pain control mechanisms and cortical reorganization phenomena can be studied by the use of fMRI.
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keywords = cortex, visual
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6/21. Different brain areas activated during imagery of painful and non-painful 'finger movements' in a subject with an amputated arm.

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate differences in brain activation with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during imagery of painful and non-painful 'finger movements' and 'hand positioning' in a subject with an amputated arm. The subject was a right-handed man in his mid-thirties who lost his right arm just above the elbow in a car-train accident. MRI was performed with a 1.5 T Siemens Vision Plus scanner. The basic design involved four conditions: imagining 'painful finger movements', 'non-painful finger movements', 'painful hand positioning', 'non-painful hand positioning'. Imagery of finger movements uniquely activated the contralateral primary motor cortex which contains the classic 'hand area'. The lateral part of the anterior cerebellar lobe was also activated during imagery of finger movements. Imagery of pain uniquely activated the somatosensory area, and areas in the left insula and bilaterally in the ventral posterior lateral nucleus of the thalamus. It is suggested that the insula and thalamus may involve neuronal pathways that are critical for mental processing of pain-related experiences, which may relate to a better understanding of the neurobiology of phantom limb pain.
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7/21. Common pathways in mental imagery and pain perception: an fMRI study of a subject with an amputated arm.

    The present paper reviews data from two previous studies in our laboratory, as well as some additional new data, on the neuronal representation of movement and pain imagery in a subject with an amputated right arm. The subject imagined painful and non-painful finger movements in the amputated stump while being in a MRI scanner, acquiring EPI-images for fMRI analysis. In Study I (Ersland et al., 1996) the Subject alternated tapping with his intact left hand fingers and imagining "tapping" with the fingers of his amputated right arm. The results showed increased neuronal activation in the right motor cortex (precentral gyrus) when tapping with the fingers of the left hand, and a corresponding activation in the left motor cortex when imagining tapping with the fingers of the amputated right arm. Finger tappings of the intact left hand fingers also resulted in a larger activated precentral area than imagery "finger tapping" of the amputated right arm fingers. In Study II (Rosen et al., 2001 in press) the same subject imagining painful and pleasurable finger movements, and still positions of the fingers of the amputated arm. The results showed larger activations over the motor cortex for movement imagining versus imagining the hand being in a still position, and larger activations over the sensory cortex when imagining painful experiences. It can therefore be concluded that not only does imagery activate the same motor areas as real finger movements, but also that adding instructions of pain together with imaging moving the fingers intensified the activation compared with adding instructions about non-painful experiences. From these studies, it is clear that areas activated during actual motor execution to a large extent also are activated during mental imagery of the same motor commands. In this respect the present studies add to studies of visual imagery that have shown a similar correspondence in activation between actual object perception and imagery of the same object.
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keywords = cortex, visual
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8/21. methadone for phantom limb pain.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this case series was to determine if severe phantom limb pain could be reduced with oral methadone. DESIGN: Four cases of phantom limb pain refractory to multiple treatment modalities were treated with oral methadone. SETTING: Pain clinic at a major university medical center. patients: Four patients with severe, intractable phantom limb pain. INTERVENTION: Oral methadone was administered, starting with a low dose of 2 to 5 mg twice a day or three times a day and slowly titrated upward to achieve pain relief. OUTCOME MEASURES: Repeated administration of a visual analog scale for pain. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Administration of oral methadone may be of value in the treatment of phantom limb pain; controlled clinical trials would be appropriate to verify this observation.
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ranking = 0.0013395374879272
keywords = visual
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9/21. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the parietal cortex transiently ameliorates phantom limb pain-like syndrome.

    OBJECTIVE: Phantom pain is linked to a reorganization of the partially deafferented sensory cortex. In this study we have investigated whether the pain syndrome can be influenced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). methods: Two patients with a longstanding unilateral avulsion of the lower cervical roots and chronic pain in the arm were studied. As a control the acute effects of rTMS (15 Hz, 2 s duration) on pain were studied in 4 healthy subjects. Pain intensity was assessed with the Visual Analogue Scale. RESULTS: Stimulation of the contralateral parietal cortex led to a reproducible reduction in pain intensity lasting up to 10 min. Stimulation of other cortical areas produced only minor alterations in the severity of the pain. Both 1 and 10 Hz rTMS trains applied to the contralateral parietal cortex on weekdays for 3 consecutive weeks did, however, not lead to permanent changes in the pain intensity. Experimentally induced pain (cold water immersion of the right hand) in normal subjects was not influenced by rTMS. CONCLUSIONS: These results do not favor the use of rTMS in the treatment of phantom limb pain. The results, however, support the concept that phantom pain is due to a dysfunctional activity in the parietal cortex. The transient rTMS-induced analgesic effect may be due to a temporary interference with the cerebral representation of the deafferented limb.
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10/21. Illusory movements of the paralyzed limb restore motor cortex activity.

    In humans, limb amputation or brachial plexus avulsion (BPA) often results in phantom pain sensation. Actively observing movements made by a substitute of the injured limb can reduce phantom pain, Proc. R. Soc. london B Biol. Sci. 263, 377-386). The neural basis of phantom limb sensation and its amelioration remains unclear. Here, we studied the effects of visuomotor training on motor cortex (M1) activity in three patients with BPA. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained before and after an 8-week training program during which patients learned to match voluntary "movements" of the phantom limb with prerecorded movements of a virtual hand. Before training, phantom limb movements activated the contralateral premotor cortex. After training, two subjects showed increased activity in the contralateral primary motor area. This change was paralleled by a significant reduction in phantom pain. The third subject showed no increase in motor cortex activity and no improvement in phantom pain. We suggest that successful visuomotor training restores a coherent body image in the M1 region and, as a result, directly affects the experience of phantom pain sensation. Artificial visual feedback on the movements of the phantom limb may thus "fool" the brain and reestablish the original hand/arm cortical representation.
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keywords = cortex, visual
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