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1.  Oral Local Anesthesia Successfully Ameliorated Neuropathic Pain in an Upper Limb Suggesting Pain Alleviation through Neural Plasticity within the Central Nervous System: A Case Report 
Neural blockades are considered an alternative to pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain although these blockades elicit limited effects. We encountered a patient with postbrachial plexus avulsion injury pain, which was refractory to conventional treatments but disappeared temporarily with the administration of the local anesthetic lidocaine around the left mandibular molar tooth during dental treatments. This analgesic effect on neuropathic pain by oral local anesthesia was reproducible. Under conditions of neuropathic pain, cerebral somatotopic reorganization in the sensorimotor cortices of the brain has been observed. Either expansion or shrinkage of the somatotopic representation of a deafferentated body part correlates with the degree of neuropathic pain. In our case, administration of an oral local anesthetic shrank the somatotopic representation of the mouth, which is next to the upper limb representation and thereby expanded the upper limb representation in a normal manner. Consequently, oral local anesthesia improved the pain in the upper limb. This case suggests that pain alleviation through neural plasticity within the brain is related to neural blockade.
PMCID: PMC3130933  PMID: 21747846
2.  Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Revived by Epileptic Seizure Then Disappeared Soon during Treatment with Regional Intravenous Nerve Blockade: A Case Report 
We present a case of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), in which symptoms, including burning pain and severe allodynia, were alleviated by using a regional intravenous nerve blockade (Bier block) combined with physiotherapy, but reappeared following an epileptic seizure. Symptoms disappeared again following control of epileptic discharges, as revealed by single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and electroencephalography (EEG) results. Although systemic toxicity of a local anesthetic applied by Bier block was suspected as a cause of the first seizure, the patient did not present any other toxic symptoms, and seizures repeatedly occurred after Bier block cessation; the patient was then diagnosed as having temporal symptomatic epilepsy. This case suggests that symptoms of CRPS may be sustained by abnormal brain conditions, and our findings contribute to the understanding of how the central nervous system participates in maintaining pain and allodynia associated with CRPS.
PMCID: PMC3119459  PMID: 21716732

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