This is topic Hypersensitive and Painful Skin in Lyme Disease in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

To visit this topic, use this URL:

Posted by Areneli (Member # 6740) on :
Some Lyme patients with hypersensitive skin that is painful to touch (me included) may suffer from Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine Roussy). Having Dejerine Roussy syndrome most likely indicates Bb growing in the thalamus that is part of your brain. This condition needs to be treated with antibiotic penetrating blood-brain-barrier.

If you read it carefully you will notice that authors unaware of the connection confuse carpal tunnel symptoms with Lyme symptoms. We are getting used to many errors in the area of Lyme.

This the text:

Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine Roussy)

It is possible that the main title of the report Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine Roussy) is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome
Posterior Thalamic Syndrome
Retrolenticular Syndrome
Thalamic Hyperesthetic Anesthesia
Thalamic Pain Syndrome
Central Pain Syndrome
Central Post-Stroke Syndrome
Disorder Subdivisions
Related Disorders List

Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine-Roussy) is a rare neurological disorder in which the body becomes hypersensitive to pain as a result of damage to the thalamus, a part of the brain that affects sensation. The thalamus has been described as the brain's sensory relay station. Primary symptoms are pain and loss of sensation, usually in the face, arms, and/or legs.

Pain or discomfort may be felt after being mildly touched or even in the absence of a stimulus. The pain associated with thalamic syndrome may be made worse by exposure to heat or cold and by emotional distress. Sometimes, this may include even such emotions as those brought on by listening to music.

Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine-Roussy) is characterized by pain and loss of sensation, especially in the face, arms and/or legs. Many types of sensation can be affected, including touch, pain, and awareness of temperature. Stimulation may increase the discomfort. For example, being touched, or being exposed to cold temperatures may cause spontaneous pain. Taste may be affected; food and drink may have an unusual or different flavor. A slow tremor of the hand, arm, foot, or leg that increases as the patient attempts to move the limb (intention tremor) may become apparent. Hand spasms may also occur. Mild muscular weakness or partial paralysis limited to one side of the body (hemiparesis or hemiparalysis) may be another symptom.

The patient may experience a disagreeable sensation or strong pain in response to touch which, under normal conditions, would not be uncomfortable (hyperpathia). He or she may, at first, have trouble feeling a touch sensation (dysesthesia) and the threshold for pain may be raised; however, once the level of pain that he or she can accept is exceeded, there is an over-reaction to the pain (hyperresponsiveness). The patient may not have a sense of what position the affected part of the body is in. Emotional over-reactions may occur.

Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine-Roussy) stems from damage to the thalamus, usually appearing four to six weeks after the damage has occurred. Symptoms appear when there is loss of nerve cells in the back part of the thalamus. The thalamus is a part of the brain that acts as a coordinating center for nerve impulses from all the senses, relaying them to appropriate areas in the rest of the brain where they are then consciously perceived. The loss of nerve cells may be due to blockage in blood circulation caused by a blood clot (thrombus) or by an abnormal particle such as an air bubble circulating in the blood (embolus). Thalamic Syndrome may also be a consequence of the presence of a tumor or lesion in the thalamus.

When one side of the thalamus is damaged, some or all of the opposite side of the body (face, arm, leg) may be abnormally sensitive to all types of stimuli such as touch (contralateral hypersensitivity). This may cause pain in the areas where there is a loss of sensation (anesthesia dolorosa).
Affected Populations

Thalamic Syndrome (Dejerine-Roussy) is a rare disorder that affects males and females in equal numbers.

Related Disorders

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS) is a term encompassing a group of chronic pain syndromes. Symptoms include severe pain and alternating constriction and dilation of blood vessels after trauma, often minor in nature. Other cases of RSDS can begin without apparent cause. Symptoms can become chronic if treatment is not begun as soon as possible after diagnosis. However, diagnosis and treatment are difficult due to the wide variety of body areas which can be affected. Also, RSDS can easily be misdiagnosed as a nerve injury which is characterized by similar painful symptoms. (For more information on this disorder, choose "RSDS" as your search term in the Rare Disease Database.)

Guillain-Barre Syndrome occurs when the body's defense system against disease (e.g., antibodies or lymphocytes) attacks the nerves, damaging the nerve's myelin and axon. Nerve signals are delayed and altered, causing weakness and paralysis of the muscles of the legs, arms, and other parts of the body along with abnormal sensations. (For more information on this disorder, choose "Guillain-Barre" as your search term in the Rare Disease Database.)

Major symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include a sensation of numbness, tingling, burning and/or slight pain in the hand and wrist. This sensation can be temporary at first, later becoming chronic. It can cause patients to awaken during the night. Left untreated, muscle atrophy in the hand may develop. Symptoms may become worse with activities that require wrist flexing or prolonged gripping such as hammering or driving for long periods of time. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very prevalent disorder that can be treated through weight loss, hand splints or surgery. (For more information on this disorder, choose "Carpal Tunnel" as your search term in the Rare Disease Database.)
Standard Therapies

The usual pain medications, whether taken alone or in combination with stronger painkillers such as codeine, are of limited value.
Investigational Therapies

Surgical procedures to affect lesions may interrupt the sensory pathway from the brain and help decrease pain without affecting sensory ability. Some patients may be able to experience touch without feeling pain or discomfort after surgical treatment. More experience is needed to determine the long-term efficacy of various surgical procedures.

The antiepileptic drug gabapentin has been used on an experimental basis in the treatment of Thalamic Syndrome. Some antidepressants have also been tried. In each case, more and better clinical trials are required to determine the long-term efficacy and safety of these drugs in the treatment of this disorder.

Adams RD, Victor M, Ropper AA. Eds. Principles of Neurology. 6th ed. McGraw-Hill Companies. New York, NY; 1997.

Chuang C, Fahn S, Frucht SJ. The natural history and treatment of acquired hemidystonia: report of 33 cases and review of the literature. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002;72:59-67.

Karussis D, leker RR, Abramsky O. Cognitive dysfunction following thalamic stroke: a study of 16 cases and review of the literature. J Neurol Sci. 2000;172:25-29.

Krageloh-Mann I, Helber A, Mader I, et al. Bilateral lesions of thalamus and basal ganglia: origin and outcome. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:477-84.

Dagenbach D, Kubat-Silman AK, Absher JR. Human verbal working memory impairments associated with thalamic damage. Int J Neurosci. 2001;111:67-87.

Exner C, Weniger G, Irle E. Implicit and explicit memory after focal thalamic lesions. Neurology. 2001;57:2054-63.

Lehericy S, Grand S, Pollack P, et al. Clinical characteristics and topography of lesions in movement disorders due to thalamic lesions. Neurology. 2001;57:1055-66.

Michael GA, Boucart M, Degreef JF, et al. The thalamus interrupts top-down attentional control for permitting exploratory shifting to sensory signals. Neuroreport. 2001;12:2041-48.

Ganzales GR, Lewis SA, Weaver AL. Tactile illusion perception in patients with central pain. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001;76:267-74.

Lee MS, Kim YD, Yang JW, et al. Clinical and anatomical factors associated with thalamic dyskinesias. J Neurol Sci. 2001;182:137-42.

Ohno T, Bando M, Nagura H, et al. Apraxic agraphia due to thalamic infarction. Neurology. 2000;54:2336-39.

Pathak M. Thalamic Pain Syndrome. nd. 3pp.

Wozny KH. Central Pain Syndrome. nd. 2pp.

Thalamic Pain. Nd 3pp.

[This message has been edited by Areneli (edited 13 February 2005).]

Posted by ibrakeforticks (Member # 6785) on :
"Skin Hypersensitivity" is listed on Dr. Joseph Burrascano's symptom checklist for Lyme.

From the lack of replies to your post, it seems this symptom does not bother many people, or it bothers them less than other symptoms.

Have you heard of this symptom improving with antibiotics that cross the blood-brain barrier? has more information about central pain/thalamic syndrome. Stroke, MS, medications are listed as causes, but I don't think Lyme disease is.


Posted by sarahlea1717 (Member # 6783) on :
I have skin hypersensitivity. I wouldn't list it as my top symptom, but it can be bothersome. It's mainly my feet. I can't stand them being touched, and tickling is so painful that I usually end up kicking whomever is doing it just so they stop. Nobody tickles me anymore. Also cold is very extreme for me. I remember stepping on snow that had been tracked into the house when I was in my pre-teens and I screamed. My mom yelled at me, because she couldn't understand why I was screaming until i told her it hurt because it was so cold to me.

I must say that I cannot say for 100% that this is caused by Lyme though. I won't know if I have Lyme for sure until at least this Friday, when I have my first appt. with my LLMD. I was diagnosed with CIDP at one point though, and skin hypersensitivity can happen with CIDP

Posted by Areneli (Member # 6740) on :
Some time ago I searched the whole LymeNet for sensitive skin and found six people with this symptom. I was able to contact some of them and know that some of them still struggle with it while some others recovered or improved after BBB penetrating antibiotics.

My post was not aiming into getting responses. It is for the benefit of other people with Lyme who will search LymeNet prompted by they unusual symptom of sensitive skin.

Thanks for your interest.

[This message has been edited by Areneli (edited 15 February 2005).]

Posted by Areneli (Member # 6740) on :
Just last week I have discovered a treatment for skin hypersensitivity and skin burning. Within 10 days my symptoms went down by 50%. It is a blessing. I WENT Back TO WORK and today is my first day. Yesterday I washed my house from outside with a brush and a hose. I sleep like a baby and wake up rested. My Lyme Carpal tunnel got reduced to 25% of what was before.
Only two weeks ago I was unable to anything as the pain and fatigue were too overwhelming.

My miracle treatment is

Ketek 2x400 mg
Plaquenil 2x250 mg
Bromelain 2x1 capsule
Questran 1.5 sachets per day

Against Candida I take one capsule of Candida Plus with every meal and tinny little bit of Primal Defense Powder a few times a day. It keeps me happy and free of thrush.

I do have a little blurred vision after Ketek but can live with it.

Please note that before I took 4 months of various abx: amoxicillin, biaxin, Tinidazol, Minocycline, herxed all the time and probably decreased Bb load quite a bit. But the improvement was very slow.
Later I had to take a break for a few months because of Candida and stayed on mega doses of vitamin C (15 g/day). It also helped a lot but not for skin burning.

Now Ketek with Plaquenil seems to do the job properly. I also take 5 g of vitamin C per day and plan to do so for the next 10 years at least.

Since Ketek doesn't cross blood brain barrier I would conclude that the problem area was in brain blood vessels. LD somehow reduced blood flow to area of thalamus and causes the symptom of burning or skin hypersensitivity probably by local ischemia.


Posted by ibrakeforticks (Member # 6785) on :
Thank you for posting this update, and congratulations. This skin pain is a horrible symptom that many patients seem to have, and few doctors can comprehend.

Since your original post about this, I have seen it brought up a number of times and have tried to provide links to this or other threads that discuss it. If the search function worked on this site, we could probably get together many people who struggle with this symptom.

Besides Bromelain, have you tried nattokinase or lumbrokinase? You tried the salt/C protocol, too, right? Do you know how long you are going to take your current protocol? What is the blurred vision from Ketek about--do you mean that drug is actually affecting your vision, or toxins are affecting it?

Please keep us updated.

Posted by Areneli (Member # 6740) on :
The problems in vision is caused by Ketek not by toxin; by this time I can tell what is toxin and what is herx. My vision is sensitive -I wear progressive lenses and in the past a single dose of antidepressant messed with accomodation for a month.
I used only vitamin C (i don't quite believe in the salt) a I think that the active ingredient of vit C/salt therapy is just vitamin C.

I don't have a clue what the other products you have mentioned do. I am totaly unfamiliar with them.

Posted by Areneli (Member # 6740) on :
Skin hypersensitivity and Lyme Carpal tunnel are my last symptoms at present.

If Ketek fixes them I will be cured. So I will take it as long needed.

Posted by brodiemac (Member # 7232) on :
I too have sensitive skin - mainly on my thighs. I have major sciatica like pain which I believe is radicular neuropathy - it goes from my lower back, down over my buttocks and down the back of my legs to my knees. I have always thought the sensitivity of the skin on my thighs was due this neuropathy affecting the tiny nerve fibres just under the skin. It just sounded logical.


© 1993-2020 The Lyme Disease Network of New Jersey, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Use of the LymeNet Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3