phantom limb syndrome

The ability to feel sensations and pain in a limb or limbs that no longer exist. Phantom limb syndrome experienced by amputees is generally characterized by nonpainful sensations, such as the perception of movement and reception of external stimuli (e.g., touch, pressure, itch), and by painful sensations, such as the perception of burning, tingling, or shooting pains. The syndrome can be explained by map expansion neuroplasticity, in which the local brain region that once specialized in controlling the function of the amputated limb and that is reflected as a discrete “map” in the cerebral cortex of the brain is taken over by an adjacent brain map such as the face map, thereby expanding the face map. The acquisition of a part of the unused phantom map by the face map results in the perception of sensation in the amputated limb when the face is touched. Treatment of the syndrome may employ pain-relieving medications, coping techniques, nonsurgical treatments (including shock therapy and acupuncture), and implantable treatments, such as deep brain stimulation and spinal cord stimulation. Mirror box therapy has been successful in a small number of patients, primarily those who experienced paralysis of a limb prior to amputation and thus suffer from a condition known as “learned paralysis.”

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Phantom can refer to any of the following.



  • Phantom power, a method for supplying current to devices over signaling cables
  • A device or test pattern that simulates the human body or part of the human body and is used to calibrate a detector that measures radiation emanating from within (e.g. the BOMAB phantom) or absorbed by (e.g. Shepp-Logan phantom) the body. See Computed Tomography.


Trademarks and Product Names

In transportation:

In gaming:

  • CCI Phantom (or "The Phantom"), a paintball marker developed and marketed by Mike Casedy and his company CCI
  • The Phantom (game system), a canceled video game console which never reached production


Popular culture

In literature & theatre:

In film:

In television:

In music:

In video games:

In other areas:

  • The Phantom (horse), a former New Zealand-trained race horse who competed in Australian events in 1990's
  • Phantom Killer, an unidentified serial killer believed to have killed five people in Texarkana in 1946
  • The Phantom (criminal), a woman whose DNA was found at 32 crime scenes in Europe for more than 15 years, including six murders.

Jae Phantom-Musician. Frontman of Ritual Daze, Wicked Saint, and Grim Fate. Drummer for Black Mass ho-Down


  • Phantom limb, the sensation that a missing limb is still attached to the body and functioning normally
  • Phantom quartz, a type of quartz that appears to have 'phantom' crystals inside of crystals, formed as a result of interrupted crystal growth
  • Phantom,alias given to Col.Salvador A. Rodolfo, Sr., Liberator of Catanduanes during World War 2 in Catanduanes, Philippines.
  • Phantom Stock

See also

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