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Anna G.'s picture

I wouldn't disagree that the

I wouldn't disagree that the problem is rooted in the brain, and the map that the brain has for peripheral limbs, but I would like to point out that there is a difference between having a Phantom Limb and having Phantom Limb Pain. Patients who are born without limbs don't tend to have phantom limb pain, but do tend to have phantom limbs, presumably because their brain expected there to be a limb there. The Phantom limb pain, however, usually does have a root in the fact that the fibers that once sent messages to the brain now have an abnormal firing pattern.  Of course, these messages are mediated by the brain, so technically the pain from the phantoms is rooted there, but the reasons why are different in patients who have congenital limb absence and those who suffered trauma to a limb.

 

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