Mystery Solved: The Source Of Pain In "Phantom" Limbs

One of the great medical mysteries is the source of phantom-limb syndrome. Doctors have been puzzled for centuries by patients who, after losing an arm or a leg, continue to feel sensation--and even excruciating pain--in the lost limb. For some time, neuroscientists have suspected that the pain was a side effect of the brain's attempts to reorganize itself following a major disruption in sensory input. But researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville report the surprising discovery that this reorganization is causing significant growth of new brain cells in amputees.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.