Trigeminal neuralgia

Alternative Names

Tic douloureux

Definition of Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a nerve disorder that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The pain of trigeminal neuralgia comes from the trigeminal nerve. This nerve carries pain, feeling, and other sensations from the brain to the skin of the face. It can affect part or all of the face, and the surface of the eye.

Signs and tests

A neurologic examination is usually normal.

Treatment

Your primary care physician, a neurologist, or a pain specialist may be involved in your care.

Expectations (prognosis)

How well you do depends on the cause of the problem. If there is no underlying disease, some people find that treatment provides at least partial relief.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/16/2010

Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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