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Facial Nerve Innervation And Facial Palsies

A. Grobbelaar, A. Woollard
Published 2012 · Medicine

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There are a myriad of causes of facial palsy. Identifying the etiology in each case is of vital importance to the choice of management pathway, either as an emergency or in terms of long-term intervention. Most patients at the time of presentation are convinced that they are suffering from either a stroke (50 %), an intracranial tumor (25 %), or do not know but are nonetheless anxious (25 %) (Peitersen 2002). In a review of the literature, Schaitkin and May identified over 100 possible diagnoses but the overwhelming majority (50–66 %) of cases were Bell’s palsies (Schaitkin et al. 2000). The difficulty of this diagnosis of idiopathic paralysis is that it is one of exclusion. Any case of new onset palsy must be thoroughly examined, and the history, as always, is vital in ascertaining the cause. The onset, progression, concurrent symptoms, and localization all assist the physician in deciding what further investigations are required.
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