Multiple sclerosis affects more than 2.1 million individuals worldwide. But there is another disease that affects the central nervous system and is far more common.
Central Pain Syndrome is a neurological condition that causes chronic pain in those who suffer from it. Unfortunately, it's a condition that often goes diagnosed. In recognition of Rare Diseases Day on Thursday, HuffPost Live featured the stories of several individuals whose lives have been impacted by CPS.
Louise Mowder developed CPS following a stroke that injured a spinal path to her brain. CPS didn't cause a loss of feeling, she said, but instead caused her to feel "every sort of pain sensation known to man all at once, all day."
Mowder, who also serves as the founder of the CPS Foundation, told HuffPost Live that it's really only been in the last 10 years that these symptoms have begun to be categorized as CPS. It is often caused, she said, by injuries to the spine or brain, including strokes, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
But with so few doctors recognizing symptoms as CPS, Mowder said a lot of victim-blaming takes place.
"People go in and they complain about essentially feeling like they're burning, freezing, electrical stab pains all day long all the time, and they're told there's nothing clinically that we can find that's wrong with you," she said. "You're either drug-seeking or you're crazy."
Dr. Forest Tennant, a doctor specializing in CPS and pain management, told HuffPost Live that part of the problem has been that there has been a lack of manpower and resources available to put toward understanding it.
Watch the Full Segment on HuffPost Live.