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Anne Louise Oaklander, MD, PhD

  • Phone: 617-726-8639
Department of Neurology
Clinical Interests
Peripheral Nerve Diseases
Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Skin biopsy for diagnosing neurological diseases
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD/PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Residency, University of Medicine & Dentistry
Fellowship, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Board Certifications
Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Foreign Languages
Patient Age Group
Adult and pediatric
Accepting New Patients


Associate Professor of Neurology,
Harvard Medical School

Associate in Neurology,
Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant in Pathology (Neuropathology),
Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Oaklander is Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Assistant in Pathology (Neuropathology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She received a B.S. in Neuroscience from Cornell University and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After neurology residency at UMDNJ, she undertook postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins and joined their Neurosurgery faculty until moving to MGH, where she attends for the neurology service and directs the neurodiagnostic skin-biopsy service. Dr. Oaklander directs an NIH, DoD, and foundation-funded laboratory that studies causes of chronic pain and itch.She is known for discoveries on post herpetic neuralgia and pruritis. Her group was among the first to identify nerve injuries in patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I. Small-fiber polyneuropathies are another interest. She has more than 75 publications and serves on the editorial board of the journal PAIN. She is a member of the American Neurological Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. She serves on advisory and review panels for the NIH, the VA, and the Institute of Medicine

ResearchFind research articles about Dr. Oaklander's fibromyalgia research on PubMed.

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News media reports about Dr. Oaklander's research and Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH):

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View my most recent publications at PubMed

Selected Publications

  1. Albrecht PJ, Hou Q, Argoff CE, Storey JR, Wymer JP, Rice FL. Excessive peptidergic sensory innervation of cutaneous arteriole-venule shunts (AVS) in the palmar glabrous skin of fibromyalgia patients: Implications for widespread deep tissue pain and fatigue. Pain Med 2013;14:895-915.
  2. Amato AA, Oaklander AL. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 16-2004. A 76-year-old woman with numbness and pain in the feet and legs. N Engl J Med 2004;350:2181-2189.
  3. England JD, Gronseth GS, Franklin G, Carter GT, Kinsella LJ, Cohen JA, Asbury AK, Szigeti K, Lupski JR, Latov N, Lewis RA, Low PA, Fisher MA, Herrmann DN, Howard JF, Jr., Lauria G, Miller RG, Polydefkis M, Sumner AJ. Practice Parameter: Evaluation of distal symmetric polyneuropathy: role of autonomic testing, nerve biopsy, and skin biopsy (an evidence-based review). Report of the American Academy of Neurology, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Neurology 2009;72:177-184.
  4. Oaklander AL, Herzog ZD, Downs HM, Klein MM. Objective evidence that small-fiber polyneuropathy underlies some illnesses currently labeled as fibromyalgia. Pain 2013.
  5. Oaklander AL, Klein MM. Evidence of small-fiber polyneuropathy in unexplained, juvenile-onset, widespread pain syndromes. Pediatrics 2013;131:e1091-e1100.

Not Your Typical Rash: Why Shingles Can’t Be Taken Lightly

Anne Louise Oaklander, MD, PhD, associate professor of Neurology, says shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a serious neurological complication in which pain lingers in an area of previous shingles long after the rash heals, cannot be taken lightly. PHN can last for months or years and is a source of severe and disabling pain, particularly for older patients.

MGH study finds nerve damage in some fibromyalgia patients

About half of a small group of patients with fibromyalgia – a common syndrome that causes chronic pain and other symptoms – was found to have damage to nerve fibers in their skin and other evidence of a disease called small-fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN).

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Nerve damage may underlie widespread, unexplained chronic pain in children

Study finds that most of a group of young patients seen at Mass General for chronic, unexplained pain had test results indicating small-fiber polyneuropathy, a condition not previously reported in children.

Study finds evidence of nerve damage in around half of fibromyalgia patients

About half of a small group of patients with fibromyalgia – a common syndrome that causes chronic pain and other symptoms – was found to have damage to nerve fibers in their skin and other evidence of a disease called small-fiber polyneuropathy, a disorder that sometimes can be treated.

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