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Robert J. Schwartzman

Robert J. Schwartzman, MD

Emeritus Professor

Department: Neurology


  • MD - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • Medical Residency - Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
  • Neurology Residency - University of Pennsylvania
  • Neuromuscular Fellowship - National Institutes of Health

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

Dr. Schwartzman is professor and emeritus chair of the Department of Neurology at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is now retired from clinical practice.

He came to the College of Medicine in 1995 from Thomas Jefferson University, where he chaired the Department of Neurology. He was an associate professor of neurology at the University of Miami from 1971 through 1978, and then professor of neurology, chief of the Division of Neurology and program director at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, from 1978 to 1982. He was appointed chairman of the Department of Neurology at Jefferson University in 1982, where he served until 1995 when he became chairman of the Department of Neurology at MCP Hahnemann University, which is now Drexel University College of Medicine. Schwartzman has trained over 240 residents during his career.

Thirty have become professors of neurology and six have gone on to chair neurology departments.


Dr. Schwartzman's general area of research interest was chronic pain with specific focus in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). His pain research laboratory evaluated pro and anti-inflammatory chemokines, cytokine and their soluble receptors profile as well as neuroactive peptides, amino acid and biogenic amine levels in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of individuals with CRPS. They conducted, with other investigators, whole genome and microRNA studies in CRPS subjects.

The pain group conducted clinical trials of drugs that inhibits the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and promotes the secretion of the 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 pain group small fiber laboratory used the CASE IV (Computer Aided Sensory Evaluator) (WR Medical Electronics, Stillwater, Minn.) and the TSA-II Neurosensory Analyzer (Medoc, Ramat-Yishai, Israel) for precise quantitation of vibrotactile and thermal detection thresholds, as well as thermal pain thresholds. It also assessed segmental surface autonomic function with laser Doppler imaging (moorLDI, Moor Instruments Ltd., Devon England). In addition, the lab 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)


"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, 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.

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.