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Robert J. Schwartzman

Robert J. Schwartzman, MD

Emeritus Professor

Department: Neurology


  • MD - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia

Awards & Honors

  • Listed in "Best Doctors" (2009-2010, 2011-2012)
  • Humanitarian Award, the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Coalition of New England and the National RSD Society
  • Awarded by the International Research Foundation for RSD/CRPS for clinical teaching (2010)
  • Teacher recognition certificate given on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology and the AB Baker Section on Neurologic Education at the AAN Meeting (2007 and 2008)

Memberships / Professional Affiliations

  • Founding member, Scientific Advisory Board for the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Association of America


  • Neuromuscular Fellowship - National Institutes of Health


  • Medical Residency - Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
  • Neurology Residency - University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Schwartzman is a professor and emeritus chair of the Department of Neurology at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is now retired from clinical practice but quite active as the author of neurological reference books.

He came to the Drexel University College of Medicine in 1995 as chairman of the Department of Neurology during the time of MCP Hahnemann University.

He served as chairman of the Department of Neurology at Thomas Jefferson University from 1982 to 1995 and previously, as Chief of Neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, from 1978 to 1982. Before that, he was an associate professor of neurology at the University of Miami from 1971 through 1978. During his career, he served as a neurology training program director for three institutes.

In his 41 years of practicing medicine and teaching, Dr. Schwartzman has trained over 350 residents during his career, nearly sixty have become professors of neurology, and ten have become chairmen of neurology departments.


Dr. Schwartzman's primary area of research interest was chronic pain, particularly complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). His laboratory evaluated pro and anti-inflammatory chemokines, cytokine, and their soluble receptors profile. They also studied neuroactive peptides, amino acid, and biogenic amine levels in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of individuals with CRPS. Through collaboration with other investigators, they conducted genomic and microRNA studies in CRPS subjects.

The pain group conducted clinical trials using drugs that inhibit the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and promote anti-inflammatory cytokines for the treatment of pain. They also evaluated the treatment of CRPS with intravenous ketamine (a dissociative anesthetic analgesic NMDA antagonist).

The research group established a means of evaluating a patient's pain condition through quantitative sensory testing (QST) and autonomic nervous system testing (ANST). These are techniques used to study disease progression or remission through precise measurement of vibrotactile, thermal detection thresholds, and thermal pain thresholds. The lab also had expertise in neuropathic pain assessment, e.g., static and dynamic allodynia mapping, pressure algometry, pain scales, precision digital photography, and edema quantification.

In the Media

"Drexel Physicians Named 'Top Docs' by Philadelphia Magazine"
(May 1, 2013)

"Drexel Physicians Named 'Top Docs' by Philadelphia Magazine"
(May 1, 2012)

Treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Lifescript (June 23, 2011)


"Optimizing the Treatment of CRPS With Ketamine"
Kirkpatrick AF, Saghafi A, Yang K, Qiu P, Alexander J, Bavry E and Schwartzman R
The Clinical journal of pain, 36(7), pp 516–523, 2020

"miR-34a-mediated regulation of XIST in female cells under inflammation"
Shenoda BB, Tian Y, Alexander GM, Aradillas-Lopez E, Schwartzman RJ and Ajit SK
Journal of pain research, 11, pp 935–945, 2018

"Analysis of Common Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Genome Wide Association Study Approach and Pooled DNA Strategy"
Janicki PK, Alexander GM, Eckert J, Postula M and Schwartzman RJ
Pain Med. 17(12):2344-2352, 2016

"Analgesic Response to Intravenous Ketamine Is Linked to a Circulating microRNA Signature in Female Patients With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome"
Douglas SR, Shenoda BB, Qureshi RA, Sacan A, Alexander GM, Perreault M, Barrett JE, Aradillas-Lopez E, Schwartzman RJ and Ajit SK
J Pain. Sep;16(9):814-24, 2015

"Plasma Exchange Therapy in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome"
Aradillas E, Schwartzman RJ, Grothusen JR, Goebel A and Alexander GM
Pain Physician. Jul-Aug;18(4). pp 383-94, 2015

"Lenalidomide for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1: Lack of Efficacy in a Phase II Randomized Study"
Manning DC, Alexander G, Arezzo JC, Cooper A, Harden RN, Oaklander AL, Raja SN, Rauck R and Schwartzman R
J Pain. 15(12) pp 1366-1376, 2014

"Development and validation of a sensitive LC-MS/MS method for the determination of D-serine in human plasma"
Xie Y, Alexander GM, Schwartzman RJ, Singh N, Torjman MC, Goldberg ME, Wainer IW and Moaddel R
J Pharm Biomed Anal, 89 pp 1-5, 2014

"Thermal Pain in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I"
Grothusen JR, Alexander GM, Erwin K and Schwartzman RJ
Pain Physician, 17(1) pp 71-79, 2014

"Plasma Amino Acids Changes in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome"
Alexander GM, Reichenberger E, Peterlin BL, Perreault MJ, Grothusen JR and Schwartzman RJ
Pain Res Treat, 2013, pp 742407, 2013

"Objective Sensory Evaluation of the Spread of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome"
Edinger L, Schwartzman RJ, Ahmad A, Erwin K and Alexander GM
Pain Physician, 16(6) pp 581-591. 2013

"Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Systemic Complications"
Schwartzman RJ
Practical Pain Management, 13(3) pp 2-10, 2013

"Systemic Complications of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome"
Schwartzman R
Neuroscience & Medicine, 3:225-242, 2012

"Use of therapies other than disease-modifying agents, including complementary and alternative medicine, by patients with multiple sclerosis: a survey study"
Stoll SS, Nieves C, Tabby DS and Schwartzman R
J Am Osteopath Assoc, Vol.112, No. 1, pp. 22-8, 2012

"Neuropsychology and complex regional pain syndrome"
Libon DJ, Alexander G, Schwartzman RJ
Pain, Vol.153, No. 5, pp. 1128, 2012

"Skin biopsy in complex regional pain syndrome: case series and literature review"
Kharkar S, Venkatesh YS, Grothusen JR, Rojas L, Schwartzman RJ
Pain Physician, Vol.15, No. 3, pp. 255-66, 2012.

"Changes in plasma cytokines and their soluble receptors in complex regional pain syndrome"
Alexander GM, Peterlin BL, Perreault MJ, Grothusen JR, Schwartzman RJ
J Pain, Vol.13, No. 1, pp. 10-20, 2012

"Syncope in complex regional pain syndrome"
Smith JA, Karalis DG, Rosso AL, Grothusen JR, Hessen SE, Schwartzman RJ
Clin Cardiol, Vol.34, No. 4, pp. 222-5, 2011

"The use of ketamine in complex regional pain syndrome: possible mechanisms"
Schwartzman RJ, Alexander GM, Grothusen J
Expert Rev Neurother, Vol.11, No. 5, pp. 719-34, 2011

"Elevated blood levels of inflammatory monocytes (CD14(+) CD16(+) ) in patients with complex regional pain syndrome"
Ritz BW, Alexander GM, Nogusa S, Perreault MJ, Peterlin BL, Grothusen JR, Schwartzman RJ
Clin Exp Immunol, Vol.164, No. 1, pp. 108-17, 2011

"MicroRNA modulation in complex regional pain syndrome"
Orlova IA, Alexander GM, Qureshi RA, Sacan A, Graziano A, Barrett JE, Schwartzman RJ, Ajit SK
J Transl Med, Vol.9, No. 1, pp. 195, 2011

"Intramuscular botulinum toxin in complex regional pain syndrome: case series and literature review"
Kharkar S, Ambady P, Venkatesh Y, Schwartzman RJ
Pain Physician, Vol.14, No. 5, pp. 419-24, 2011

"Complex regional pain syndrome with associated chest wall dystonia: a case report"
Irwin DJ, Schwartzman RJ
Journal of brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injury, Vol.6, pp. 6, 2011

"Laser Doppler imaging: usefulness in chronic pain medicine"
Grothusen JR, Schwartzman RJ
Pain Physician, Vol.14, No. 5, pp. 491-8, 2011

"Enantioselective pharmacokinetics of (R)- and (S)-ketamine after a 5-day infusion in patients with complex regional pain syndrome"
Goldberg ME, Torjman MC, Schwartzman RJ, Mager DE, Wainer IW
Chirality, Vol.23, No. 2, pp. 138-43, 2011

"Kinesigenic Dyskinesia in a Case of Voltage-Gated Potassium Channel-Complex Protein Antibody Encephalitis"
Aradillas E, Schwartzman RJ
Arch Neurol, Vol.68, No. 4, pp. 529-32, 2011

"Acute loss of spatial navigational skills in a case of a right posterior hippocampus stroke"
Aradillas E, Libon DJ, Schwartzman RJ
J Neurol Sci, Vol.308, No. 1-2, pp. 144-6, 2011

"Deconstructing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome"
Schwartzman RJ
Practical Pain Management, March 2010

"Response to Drs. Bell and Moore commentary regarding the use of intravenous ketamine for CRPS"
Schwartzman RJ
Pain, Vol.151, No. 2, pp. 554-5; author reply 6-7, 2010

"The natural history of complex regional pain syndrome"
Schwartzman RJ, Erwin KL, Alexander GM
Clin J Pain, Vol.25, No. 4, 2009, pp. 273-80, 2009

"Neurologic complications of disseminated intravascular coagulation"
Schwartzman RJ and Hill JB
Neurology, 32:791-797. 1982

Book Chapters

Pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Schwartzman RJ
In: Practical guide to chronic pain syndromes, Jay GW, editor. New York: Informa Healthcare; 2010
ISBN: 9781420080452

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Schwartzman RJ
In: Encyclopedia of movement disorders, Verhagen L, Kompoliti K, editors. Boston, MA: Elsevier; 2010


Diagnostic Guide to Clinical Pain (in progress)
Schwartzman RJ

Neurologic Examination
Schwartzman RJ
First edn. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Pub.; 2006. Second Printing 2020
ISBN: 978-1-7345967-3-1 (softback)
ISBN: 978-1-7345967-2-4 (eBook)

Differential Diagnosis in Neurology
Schwartzman RJ
Amsterdam; Washington, DC: IOS Press; 2006. Revised Second Edition, 2019
ISBN: (9781614999669)