Researchers at the University of Liverpool have shown for the first time that the majority of patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a severe post-traumatic pain condition in the limbs, have specific blood antibodies that may activate the condition.
CRPS is associated with both regional and sensory pain and bone and skin changes; the causes of CRPS, however, are yet to be fully understood.
The team examined the blood from patients who had previously participated in a trial on an immune treatment for CRPS. Researchers anticipated that they might find antibodies in approximately 25% of patients, but unexpectedly, they detected evidence for abnormal antibody activity in almost two-thirds of study participants, suggesting that having these antibodies is the ‘rule’ rather than the exception.
Healthy volunteers, patients with other types of chronic pain, or with established autoimmune disorder, did not have the antibodies.
The findings add further evidence to recent studies, including research at Liverpool, suggesting that this particular severe chronic pain condition may be…
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