Noninvasive Treatment of Central Post-Stroke Neuropathic Pain

Ya-Wen Tu, Wei-Ting Wu, Chih-Chung Liu, Ya-Chen Lee, Yih-Tsen Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Central post-stroke pain (CPSP) is a neuropathic pain syndrome occurring after a cerebrovascular accident in 8 to 14 % of patients with stroke. This pain is largely refractory to medicinal and surgical treatments. Investigators have assayed numerous types of medicines and therapies for CPSP, but large controlled trials are lacking, and a treatment method is far from being standardized. OBJECTIVE: To review the current pharmacological treatments for CPSP and other noninvasive modality options, and to evaluate the strength of evidence on the efficacies of the treatment forms. METHODS: Search strategies with the keywords ”neuropathic pain,” ”stroke,” and ”central post-stroke pain” were used in combination with ”pharmacological treatment,” ”acupuncture,” ”neurostimulation,” ”physical therapy,” ”modality”and ”transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation” as treatment options. The retrieved articles relating to CPSP were reviewed. RESULTS: The pathophysiology of CPSP is not well understood, but previous research has suggested central disinhibition, imbalance of stimuli, and central sensitization as underlying mechanisms. Amitriptyline and lamotrigine are recommended as first-line drugs, with mexiletine, fluvoxamine, and gabapentin as second-line drugs. There are numerous non-pharmacological therapies for CPSP, but more extensive research is required to determine their efficacies. CONCLUSIONS: CPSP patients present with diverse sensory symptoms. The pathophysiology of CPSP is still poorly understood; thus, further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and investigate newer therapeutic modalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 中樞性神經性疼痛
  • 藥物治療
  • 非侵入性
  • post-stroke pain
  • neuropathic
  • non-invasive treatment


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