Central Pain Syndrome discussed

Posts Tagged ‘stroke’

Central Pain Syndrome discussed

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Central Pain Syndrome also known as Thalamic Pain Syndrome/Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome

We recently acted for a client suffering from a Central Pain Syndrome.

In 1906 two French neurologists, Dejerine and Roussy, found that strokes could give rise to pain. A lesion suffered on one side of the thalamus following stroke might cause pain on the opposite side of the body.

Recently, we acted for a client (“X”) who had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

One of our experts noted X’s significant physical symptoms. X showed signs of being in pain on one side of his body from stimuli that would not normally cause pain e.g. just resting a foot on a wheelchair footplate.

Review of X’s CT scan revealed contusion within the left thalamic brain region causing the expert to indicate that X’s symptoms were in keeping with Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome. Further evidence from a specialist neurologist was arranged.

Central Pain Syndrome

It is now understood that damage to the Central Nervous System (“CNS”) and not just to the thalamus can cause pain and loss of sensation in various parts of the body. CPS can develop following brain tumours, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (“MS”) or other conditions affecting the CNS.

Use of the term Central Pain Syndrome (“CPS”) reflects the fact that damage to various area of the CNS can cause pain and stroke need not be the primary cause.

Where stroke is the primary cause the preferred term now used is Central Post Stroke Pain.

The level of pain caused by CPS varies from one person to another. Some individuals experience pain which is mild and periodic, others may have terrible, unremitting pain which drastically affects their lives and may consequently devastate relationships.

If you, or a loved one, have developed a Central Pain Syndrome following an accident and you would like to discuss it with a serious injury expert please call us on 01285 654875.

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Cerebral Palsy

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Cerebral Palsy is a broad term for a number of neurological conditions. These tend to affect movement and co-ordination. It may also affect other important functions such as communication, hearing, vision and the ability to learn.

Cerebral Palsy can feel like a devastating diagnosis but it covers a wide spectrum of difficulties.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe this may be due to some one else’s negligence, you may want to take legal advice.



It was thought that cerebral palsy was predominantly caused by a child being deprived of oxygen (asphyxiation) during birth. A major research project carried out in the 1980s showed that only 9% of cases were caused by asphyxiation.

One of the most common types of brain damage caused by oxygen loss is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE can result in severe developmental or cognitive impairments. These become evident as a child develops.

In the remaining 91% of cases it was found that the cerebral palsy was due to problems with the brain that developed before the child was born. Other factors included premature birth, complications of birth or problems immediately following birth. In some cases, cause cannot be definitively determined.

There are three main problems that can affect the brain before birth causing cerebral palsy. The first is Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). It is believed that the damage to the brain caused by PVL is due to a lack of oxygen. It is not clear why it occurs. It has been linked to infections caught by the mother and to premature births of 32 weeks or earlier.

The second problem is abnormal brain development. If the brain doesn’t develop normally then this can result in cerebral palsy. While in the womb, brain development can be affected by gene mutations, infections caught by the mother and trauma or injury to the unborn baby’s head.

The final problem is intracranial haemorrhage and stroke. A stroke usually occurs when a blockage forms cutting off the blood supply to the brain. This is known as an ischemic stroke.  It can occur due to bleeding in the brain. Called a haemorrhagic stroke.  These result in the damage of brain tissue and result in cerebral palsy. The risk of stroke increases if the mother catches an infection during pregnancy, has high blood pressure, or the baby is born prematurely.

These are the main problems which result in cerebral palsy. There may be no obvious single cause but a culmination of several factors which increase the risk of the development of cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy tend to become apparent within the child’s first three years. For instance the child may be slower in achieving important developmental milestones such as crawling, walking and talking.

Due to the nature of brain injuries the symptoms of cerebral palsy differ drastically. No two individuals with cerebral palsy have identical symptoms. Some individuals are only mildly affected. Others can be severely disabled.

There are many common symptoms such as:

  • communication problems
  • learning difficulties (although intelligence is often unaffected
  • Cognitive deficits, epilepsy (up to a third of children)
  • hearing loss (only 8% of children)
  • behavioural problems (one in four children)
  • drooling: and,
  • swallowing difficulties.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Talk to us if your child has been diagnosed as suffering from cerebral palsy.  Whether the negligence was by those looking after you and your unborn baby or those who delivered your baby, there may be a claim.

Your child’s claim can be pursued at any time before they reach the age of 21. And beyond in some exceptional circumstances. It is always worth seeking advice.

No call centres. No win no fee. Just experts.

Prosopagnosia: face-Blindness

Posted on: January 15th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Prosopagnosia (Greek for “prosopon” = “face” and “agnosia” = “not knowing”)

Brad Pitt famously said that he suffered from prosopagnosia.

Some time ago I went to meet one of my brain-injured clients, let’s call him James. We had a long meeting about his case before saying farewell.

Less than an hour later, I was gathering my papers ready to go home for the day. I spotted James and waved.

Initially he turned away as though he wanted to check if the greeting had been directed at him. Realising that there was no one else around he approached my wearily before smiling and waving back.  He apologised that he hadn’t recognised me as I had been wearing grey earlier and now was in a blue coat.

This might have seemed strange if I had not been aware of his prosopagnosia as a consequence of his brain injury.

You see James can not recognise faces. He can only identify me from my build, the colour of my hair, my voice, and even my gait, but not my facial features. Despite seeing me only an hour before my appearance had changed i.e. the colour of my clothing, which made it difficult for James to identify me.

A prosopagnosia sufferer Glenn Alperin describes his affliction on his own website as, “Imagine that every person has a camera inside their head. Every time they meet somebody for the first time, they take a picture with their camera, develop the picture, and file it away for future use. …For me, I take a picture with my camera, but I never store it away.”

About 2 % of the population are born with the condition but most experience problems as a result of brain damage, such as a stroke affecting a particular brain region.

The region of the brain shown to activate specifically in response to faces is called the fusiform gyrus. The fusiform gyrus is located in both the occipital lobe (responsible for visual processing) and the temporal lobe (responsible for retaining visual memories).

Damage to the fusiform gyrus and neighbouring parahippocampal gyrus have been implicated in the disorder.

Prosopagnosia sufferers also commonly experience problems with color perception or environmental disorientation (difficulty using landmarks to track their surroundings).

People with prosopsagnosia often become highly attuned to non-facial cues, such as fashion, voice, gait, and body shape. These skills result in the condition being overlooked in compensation claims and often make it difficult for doctors to recognise and treat prosopagnosia.

In all honesty neuroscientists don’t really understand in detail how the brain processes, stores and recalls faces.

Babies show the capacity to recognise faces as young as six months of age. This ability allows children to identify their caretakers and as we develop we can identify traits of a potential mates’ health and attractiveness.

It is essential to instruct an expert to ensure that conditions such as prosopagnosia are not overlooked when consideration your compensation claim. It is also essential that such problems are considered when assessing whether or not a brain injury might have been suffered.