Q: Some neurologists classify symptoms as either gain of function (for example paresthesia), and loss of function ones (like trouble walking, numbness, etc). In your opinion, where does pain belong in this classification? Is it also a sign of healing? Thanks!
Answer: I am not sure I like the term, “gain of function”, since there is nothing really gained by the acquisition of pain. I would say that neuropathic pain, which is usually described as sharp, jabbing, stabbing, electric or burning, is caused by the generation of abnormal electrical signals in areas of the nervous system responding to injury. Chronic pain is more complex and likely involves a maladaptive response to injury. Please see my most recent blog (http://www.healthcarejourney.com/10/post/2014/02/what-causes-abnormal-sensations-and-pain-in-multiple-sclerosis.html) for a more thorough explanation of abnormal sensations in people with MS.
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