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Trigeminal Neuralgia (tic Doloreaux)

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a disorder of unilateral (usually right-sided) facial pain. While the exact cause is unknown, it is thought that TN results from irritation of the trigeminal nerve. This irritation results from damage due either to changes in the blood vessels or the presence of a tumor or other lesions that cause compression of the nerve.

The first symptoms of TN most commonly occur in persons over the age of 50, and affect women more often than men.

The pain of TN is characterized by unilateral pain attacks that start abruptly and last for varying periods of time from minutes to hours. The pain quality is usually sharp, stabbing, lancinating (cutting or tearing), and burning. It may have an "electric shock"-like character. The attacks are initiated by stimuli such as light touch of the skin, chewing, washing the face, and brushing the teeth. In some individuals the attacks may be initiated by non-painful physical stimulation of specific areas (trigger points or zones) that are located on the same side of the face as the pain.

Medical treatment is often very effective in controlling pain symptoms. In fact, the anti-seizure drug carbamazepine is so effective initially that the lack of response often calls into question the accuracy of the diagnosis.

For persons with continued pain after medical therapy, surgical options may be considered. These procedures have variable risks but may be very effective.

Medifocus: Trusted Medical Information...When You Really Need to Know

The Medifocus Guide on Trigeminal Neuralgia provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

What Your Doctor Reads:

This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes: understands that consumers who are facing serious medical issues need access to credible, up-to-date medical information to help them make informed health-care decisions. That's why we've developed the MediFocus Guides...the most advanced and trustworthy patient research guides for over 200 chronic and life-threatening conditions. Each MediFocus Guide includes a detailed overview of the condition including information about diagnosis, treatment options, cutting-edge research, and new developments; excerpts of important journal articles from the current medical literature focusing on standard treatments and treatment options; a directory of leading authors and medical institutions who specialize in the treatment of the condition; and a listing of organizations and support groups where you can obtain additional information about the illness.

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