Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day 7th

The trigeminal nerve is the largest of cranial nerves and consists of 12 pairs of nerves that control many functions of the face. Causes of trigeminal neuralgia range from pressure on the nerve, aging, or a disorder that wears away the myelin such as cerebral palsy. Other causes include injury or stroke.

Those with trigeminal neuralgia may experience severe pain in the face and jaw. Even slight stimulation can trigger pain. The pain can be shooting or jabbing. Before an episode begins, some sufferers experience a burning sensation. The pain may be localized or spread and may worsen over time. It can also last a few minutes or days.

While treatments such as surgery or medications may provide relief, the condition is progressive over time.

About Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)

Before we can celebrate the passing of this special day, we must first understand what trigeminal neuralgia is. TN is a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve (the trigeminal nerve) that causes chronic pain. It comes in two forms: TN1 and TN2. One can be affected by both of these types, but TN2 is typically a progression of TN1. This condition causes extreme and burning pain in the face, excessive salivation, depression, anxiety, and facial or head contortion. This pain can be triggered by routine activities such as brushing your teeth, shaving, or drinking a hot beverage; however, there is not always a trigger. An episode can occur spontaneously. TN may be caused by multiple things, such as multiple sclerosis, tumors, tangled arteries, an injury to the trigeminal nerve, or a blood vessel pressing on that nerve.

Physical and neurological examinations will be used to find a diagnosis, along with a review of patient history. In order to rule out other conditions, doctors may employ MRIs. Once a diagnosis is obtained, treatment consists of surgery, psychotherapy, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants. Doctors also recommend meditation and yoga.

A chronic painful disease which affects the trigeminal nerves present in the face. Trigeminal nerves carries sensation from face to brain.
Rare (Fewer than 200,000 cases per year in US)
Often requires lab test or imaging
Treatable by a medical professional
Can last several years or be lifelong
It is caused by the disruption of myelin present around the trigeminal nerve. Symptoms include facial pain, difficulty in chewing, speaking, and brushing. Treatment includes medication, and surgery.


The symptoms include:
  • Severe shooting pain that may feel like an electric shock
  • Pain or attacks activated by touching the face, biting, talking or brushing
  • Pain areas include the ear, eyes, forehead, jaw, or mouth and face
  • Over sensitivity, sensitivity to pain, or uncomfortable tingling and burning
  • Can be only one attack of pain, some may experience sharp pain every hour or every few seconds


Treatment includes medication, and surgery.
  • Anticonvulsants: To lessen the pain and to treat trigeminal neuralgia.
    Carbamazepine · Oxcarbazepine · Lamictal
  • Anti-spasmodic medication: Relax muscles.
    Baclofen · Lioresal
  • Neurotoxins: Botox injection helps to reduce pain in conditions where tablets fail due to side effects.
  • Glycerol injection: Injection of a small amount of sterile glycerol destroys the trigeminal nerve and blocks pain signals.
Medical procedures: Balloon compression · Microvascular decompression · Brain stereotactic radiosurgery · Radiofrequency thermal lesioning

I’m so thankful that research dollars are spent on a rare disease and I’m sure those with the illness are grateful too. 



National Today


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