Cases reported "Phantom Limb"

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11/21. An unusual case of painful phantom-limb sensations during regional anesthesia.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article is to describe a late-onset phantom-limb pain during a continuous analgesic popliteal nerve block after foot surgery and its alleviation and recurrence when stopping and resuming the local anesthetic infusion. CASE REPORT: A 29-year-old woman undergoing a left hallux valgus repair received a continuous popliteal sciatic nerve block for postoperative analgesia. Postoperatively, 6 hours after the commencement of a ropivacaine 0.2% infusion, she reported feelings of tingling, clenching pain, and missing-limb sensation below the ankle. The surgical site remained painless. sensation elicited by touch and propioception were normally perceived. Only sensations for pinprick and heat were impaired. The ropivacaine infusion was stopped, followed 2.5 hours later by the complete regression of any abnormal sensation. Meanwhile, pain at the surgical site was scored at 50 mm on a 100-mm visual analogic scale. As the infusion of ropivacaine was resumed, the abnormal sensations reappeared. The catheter was removed, and abnormal sensations again disappeared. The patient was discharged from hospital without further complications. CONCLUSIONS: This observation suggests that phantom-limb pain can be of late-onset and might occur during a continuous infusion of low-concentration local anesthetic responsible only for an analgesic block, as shown by the fact that only thermal and pinprick sensations, known to depend on Adelta-fibers and C-fibers, were altered. Therefore, this case contradicts the usual belief that a profound block is necessary to elicit phantom-limb pain.
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ranking = 1
keywords = visual
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12/21. phantom limb pain induced in amputee by strong magnetic fields.

    An amputee (traumatic) experienced increased phantom limb pain when exposed to the magnetic fields of two magnetic resonance imagers. With a visual analog scale used to measure pain, electric stimulation studies demonstrated that the residual limb was unusually sensitive to subthreshold (for muscle twitch) levels of current. The painful symptoms produced mimicked those experienced in the presence of the imagers.
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ranking = 1
keywords = visual
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13/21. Cortical correlates of TMS-induced phantom hand movements revealed with concurrent TMS-fMRI.

    We studied an amputee patient who experiences a conscious sense of movement (SoM) in her phantom hand, without significant activity in remaining muscles, when transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is applied at appropriate intensity over the corresponding sector of contralateral motor cortex. We used the novel methodological combination of TMS during fMRI to reveal the neural correlates of her phantom SoM. A critical contrast concerned trials at intermediate TMS intensities: low enough not to produce overt activity in remaining muscles; but high enough to produce a phantom SoM on approximately half such trials. Comparing trials with versus without a phantom SoM reported phenomenally, for the same intermediate TMS intensities, factored out any non-specific TMS effects on brain activity to reveal neural correlates of the phantom SoM itself. Areas activated included primary motor cortex, dorsal premotor cortex, anterior intraparietal sulcus, and caudal supplementary motor area, regions that are also involved in some hand movement illusions and motor imagery in normals. This adds support to proposals that a conscious sense of movement for the hand can be conveyed by activity within corresponding motor-related cortical structures.
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ranking = 373.26316322336
keywords = cortex
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14/21. Intentional motor phantom limb syndrome.

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical and anatomic correlates of a previously unreported form of chronic supernumerary phantom limb, which developed only in association with motor intent directed at a hemiplegic-anesthetic upper limb. methods: We explored the phenomenology of the phantom illusion in the light of motor control models. Hemodynamic correlates of supernumerary phantom limb were studied with an fMRI sensorimotor paradigm consisting of finger-thumb opposition movements. RESULTS: The kinesthetic-proprioceptive illusion of a third arm was triggered by any attempt to move the paretic limb, by bimanual actions, and by motor imagery involving the nonfunctional limb. The responsible lesion destroyed the posterior part of the posterior limb of the internal capsule on the opposite side, damaging corticospinal and thalamocortical tracts. Comparison between fMRI signals performed during virtual movement of the phantom hand vs imaginary movement of the paretic hand showed increased activation in thalamus and caudate nucleus in the first condition. CONCLUSIONS: A preserved sense of agency provided by intact premotor processes translating intention into action may lead to the vivid feeling of movement in a paralyzed limb, similar to kinesthetic illusions in amputees. The interruption of thalamic afferences may explain the persistence and stability of the phantom by preventing any correction of the mismatch between expected and effective movement. The increased blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex pathway during movement of the supernumerary hand may reflect an abnormal closed-loop functioning of the thalamocortical system underlying the phantom phenomenon.
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ranking = 124.42105440779
keywords = cortex
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15/21. phantom limb pain: are cutaneous nociceptors and spinothalamic neurons involved in the signaling and maintenance of spontaneous and touch-evoked pain? A case report.

    A patient suffered multiple fractures of the right leg and a left brain-stem infarction involving the anterolateral fasciculus of the central nociceptive system following multiple trauma. Later, the right leg was amputated, resulting in spontaneous and touch-evoked phantom pain and mechanical stump allodynia. However, quantitative sensory testing revealed considerable impairment of sensations normally mediated by cutaneous nociceptors and central spinothalamic systems on the right body side, including the stump but nearly intact touch and vibration senses. Quantitative assessment of peripheral nociceptive C-fiber function (axon reflex vasodilatation and flare) showed no abnormalities on both sides. Sympathetic blocks did not change spontaneous and evoked pain. Epidural and spinal anesthesia abolished evoked pain but had no effect on spontaneous phantom pain. Extirpation of a neuroma of the sciatic nerve did not alter spontaneous and evoked pain. TENS resulted in an increase in pain. We concluded the following. (i) Painful somatosensory memories that are responsible for phantom limb pain are located in the brain, most probably in the thalamus or cortex. (ii) touch-evoked phantom pain and stump allodynia are not mediated by cutaneous nociceptive C and A delta fibers and spinal nociceptive pathways (spinothalamic tract). Activity in the lemniscal system (low-threshold mechanoreceptive A beta afferents, dorsal columns and medial lemnicus system) may be transferred to central pain signaling neurons in the thalamus or cortex resulting in touch-evoked pain sensations. (iii) Ongoing activity in cutaneous nociceptive C fibers and spinal nociceptive systems is not necessary to maintain central processes that account for spontaneous and touch-evoked pain sensations. Activity in nociceptors of deep somatic tissues might be more important.
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ranking = 248.84210881558
keywords = cortex
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16/21. Cortical stimulation mapping of phantom limb rolandic cortex. Case report.

    Findings of intraoperative rolandic cortex mapping during awake craniotomy for a tumor in a patient with a contralateral upper-extremity amputation are presented. This patient sustained a traumatic amputation at the mid-humerus 24 years previously. Initially he had experienced rare painless phantom limb sensations but none in the past 10 years. Functional mapping during an awake craniotomy was performed to maximize safe tumor resection. Typical temporal and frontal speech areas were identified; motor representation of face and jaw extended more superiorly than sensory representation. shoulder movements were evoked more laterally than usual at the superior aspect of the craniotomy. A small region of precentral gyrus, between the jaw and shoulder representations, elicited no detectable effect when stimulated. Somatosensory mapping showed a similar topographical distribution of face and mouth cortex; however, posterior and inferior to the shoulder motor cortex, right arm and hand (phantom) sensations were evoked. Evidence suggests that significant motor reorganization occurs following an amputation, with expansion of neighboring homuncular representations without loss of somatosensory representation, despite a long period of time without any sensation referable to the amputated limb. Contrary to models of sensory cortex plasticity, the plasticity of the adult cortex may be system specific, with reorganization present in motor, but not in sensory, cortical systems.
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ranking = 1119.7894896701
keywords = cortex
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17/21. Synaesthesia in phantom limbs induced with mirrors.

    Although there is a vast clinical literature on phantom limbs, there have been no experimental studies on the effects of visual input on phantom sensations. We introduce an inexpensive new device--a 'virtual reality box'--to resurrect the phantom visually to study inter-sensory effects. A mirror is placed vertically on the table so that the mirror reflection of the patient's intact had is 'superimposed' on the felt position of the phantom. We used this procedure on ten patients and found the following results. 1. In six patients, when the normal hand was moved, so that the phantom was perceived to move in the mirror, it was also felt to move; i.e. kinesthetic sensations emerged in the phantom. In D.S. this effect occurred even though he had never experienced any movements in the phantom for ten years before we tested him. He found the return of sensations very enjoyable. 2. Repeated practice led to a permanent 'disappearance' of the phantom arm in patient D.S. and the hand became telescoped into the stump near the shoulder. 3. Using an optical trick, impossible postures--e.g. extreme hyperextension of the fingers--could be induced visually in the phantom. In one case this was felt as a transient 'painful tug' in the phantom. 4. Five patients experienced involuntary painful 'clenching spasms' in the phantom hand and in four of them the spasms were relieved when the mirror was used to facilitate 'opening' of the phantom hand; opening was not possible without the mirror. 5. In three patients, touching the normal hand evoked precisely localized touch sensations in the phantom. Interestingly, the referral was especially pronounced when the patients actually 'saw' their phantom being touched in the mirror. Indeed, in a fourth patient (R.L.) the referral occurred only if he saw his phantom being touched: a curious form of synaesthesia. These experiments lend themselves readily to imaging studies using PET and fMRI. Taken collectively, they suggest that there is a considerable amount of latent plasticity even in the adult human brain. For example, precisely organized new pathways, bridging the two cerebral hemispheres, can emerge in less than three weeks. Furthermore, there must be a great deal of back and forth interaction between vision and touch, so that the strictly modular, hierarchical model of the brain that is currently in vogue needs to be replaced with a more dynamic, interactive model, in which 're-entrant' signalling plays the main role.
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ranking = 3
keywords = visual
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18/21. Abnormal access of axial vibrotactile input to deafferented somatosensory cortex in human upper limb amputees.

    We studied two human subjects with total deafferentation of one upper limb secondary to traumatic multiple cervical root avulsions. Both subjects developed a phantom limb and underwent elective amputation of the paralyzed, deafferentated limb. Psychophysical study revealed in each subject an area of skin in the pectoral region ipsilateral to the amputation where vibrotactile stimulation (VS) elicited referred sensations (RS) in the phantom limb. Positron emission tomography was then used to measure regional cerebral blood flow changes during VS of the pectoral region ipsilateral to the amputation with RS and during VS of a homologous part of the pectoral region adjacent to the intact arm without RS. A voxel-based correlation analysis was subsequently used to study functional connectivity. VS of the pectoral region adjacent to the intact arm was associated with activation of the dorsal part of the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in a position consistent with the S1 trunk area. In contrast, VS of the pectoral region ipsilateral to the amputation with RS was associated with activation of the contralateral S1 that extended from the level of the trunk representation ventrally over distances of 20 and 12 mm, respectively, in the two subjects. The area of S1 activated during VS of the digits in a normal control subject was coextensive with the ventral S1 region abnormally activated during VS of the ectopic phantom representation in the two amputees, suggesting that the deafferented digit or hand/arm area had been activated by sensory input from the pectoral region. Correlation analysis showed an abnormal pattern of intrinsic connectivity within the deafferented S1 hand/arm area of both amputees. In one subject, the deafferented S1 was functionally connected with 3 times as many S1 voxels as the normally afferented S1. This abnormal functional connectivity extended in both the rostrocaudal and ventrodorsal dimensions. The results demonstrate that sensory input delivered to the axial body surface may gain access to the S1 hand/arm area in some humans who have suffered extensive deafferentation of this area. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that deafferentation of an area of S1 may result in activation of previously dormant inputs from body surfaces represented in immediately adjacent parts of S1. The results also provide evidence that changes in functional connectivity between these adjacent areas of the cortex play a role in the somatotopic reorganization.
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ranking = 746.52632644673
keywords = cortex
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19/21. Reorganization of the somatosensory cortex after amputation of the index finger.

    Cortical reorganization occurs within the primary somatosensory and the primary motor cortex after amputation of the arm or forearm. Here we report on a patient showing cortical reorganization after amputation of his right index finger. Our findings indicate that the neural networks within the area of the amputated finger in the somatosensory cortex (SI) were invaded by neighbouring structures, i.e. of neural cell assemblies that subserve the thumb and middle finger of his right hand.
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ranking = 746.52632644673
keywords = cortex
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20/21. Acute plasticity in the human somatosensory cortex following amputation.

    We studied a patient after amputation of an arm and found that in less than 24 h stimuli applied on the ipsilateral face were referred in a precise, topographically organized, modality-specific manner to distinct points on the phantom. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) performed one month later showed that brush-evoked activity in the brain demonstrates objective signal changes which correlate with perceptual changes in the phantom hand. This finding in humans corresponds to the observations of immediate plasticity in cortical pathways described in animals, including primates. The results suggest that reorganization of sensory pathways occurs very soon after amputation in humans, potentially due to the unmasking of ordinarily silent inputs rather than sprouting of new axon terminals.
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ranking = 497.68421763115
keywords = cortex
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