Trigeminal Neuralgia

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux) is a facial pain syndrome which often accompanies a facial spasm. The pain is sudden and unpredictable, lasting for several seconds. It is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve in the head. Many physicians believe it is caused by a deterioration of part of the nerve, sending false messages of pain to the brain.

Who gets Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Anyone can have trigeminal neuralgia, but it usually affects people older than 50. Women are more affected than men.

How is Trigeminal Neuralgia diagnosed?

After taking the patient's history, a physician may perform a neurological test, an EMG, a physical examination, and an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

How is Trigeminal Neuralgia treated?

Anti-convulsant drugs are often used to help the spasms. However, if these are ineffective, surgery may be considered.

More information on Trigeminal Neuralgia

UK Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
University of Southern California Davis
E-medicine
 

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