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Aalto University neuroscientists, in collaboration with researchers at Helsinki University Hospital and Harvard Medical School, have found a link between the size of the choroid plexus in the brain and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).

According to a report published on, a 21 percent increase in choroid plexus volume was found in 12 patients suffering from RSD/CRPS compared with healthy subjects of the same age and gender, while no enlargement was observed in a group of eight patients suffering from chronic pain from other conditions. According to the researchers, this suggests a link between the choroid plexus and the incidence of RSD/CRPS.

What Does the Choroid Plexus Do?

The choroid plexus is the key producer of cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions the central nervous system and secretes various proteins and other substances that control the development and maintenance of the human brain. The choroid plexus also provides an entry point for immune cells into the brain, linking the peripheral and central inflammatory systems.

The association the researchers found via MRI between choroid plexus volume and central pain was somewhat unexpected, but growing evidence suggests a role of the choroid plexus in the presence of chronic pain. The choroid plexus is an important connection between the brain and peripheral inflammation, and recent findings suggest an association between brain inflammation and chronic pain.

A malfunctioning choroid plexus is linked to many diseases, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psychiatric disease
  • Thyroid and brain disease

RSD/CRPS is a chronic and highly debilitating condition that typically develops after some sort of minor trauma to one part of the body, such as an arm or a leg, and then spreads to other areas. The pain associated with RSD/CRPS is usually much more intense than what would be considered normal for the injury suffered.


  1. Gravatar for sheri Lawlor
    sheri Lawlor

    Wow. This is finally some news to help change the future! Crps....i have had it for 4 years! ;)

  2. Gravatar for sheri Lawlor
    sheri Lawlor

    Wow. This is finally some news to help change the future! Crps is my diagnosis

  3. Gravatar for Steve

    Nice to learn more about what the heck is going on with my body. Surviving 20+ years in the USA with the FDA,DEA, CDC is no small feat. CURE THIS DISEASE PLEASE.

  4. Gravatar for Author Deeann Elizabeth Pavlick
    Author Deeann Elizabeth Pavlick

    I would love to meet this person shake this person's hand . As I have had it for 19 years now . And at the age of 55 I can certainly tell you I know what pain feels like .I've been writing about RSD/CRPS for years now. I Also developed a magazine I put out every other month that's has thousands of stories of people who suffer with this disease .It is about time somebody recognizes the suicide rate on this disease alone,it is out of control not to mention all the children under the age of 18 who suffer from this horrible disease .

  5. Gravatar for Cheri Furr
    Cheri Furr

    Deeann--how can I get your magazine? I have suffered from this for 16 years!!!

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