TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA
(TIC DOULOUREUX)
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Your Complete Guide to Trigeminal
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Trigeminal Neuralgia     Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), or tic douloureux, is one of the most painful afflictions known. It is characterized by episodes of excruciating stabbing or electrical shock-like pains which are confined to one side of the face. The brief episodes of pain last up to two minutes and may occur spontaneously or be triggered by light stimulation, such as washing, shaving, combing, showering, talking, brushing teeth, chewing, eating and drinking. During periods of exacerbation, these pain attacks may occur many times per day and can be difficult to control with medical treatments. Even during periods of remission, TN sufferers may live in fear of the next flare-up which inevitably occurs without treatment.

     The most common cause of TN is compression upon the trigeminal nerve root by one or more blood vessels. Such "neurovascular" or "microvascular" compression leads to irritation of the trigeminal sensory system, a state of neural hyperactivity, and Typical TN. There are other categories and causes of TN, including atypical TN, pre-TN, multiple-sclerosis-related TN, secondary or tumor related TN, post-traumatic TN (trigeminal neuropathy), and "failed" TN.

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Prepared by A. M. Kaufmann & M. Patel
© 2001 Centre for Cranial Nerve Disorders, Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Health Sciences Centre. The information provided on this web-site is intended for educational purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose or treat a disease or disorder. This information is not intended to substitute, supplement, or in any way qualify the services or advice provided by a qualified health care professional. Please consult with a certified health care professional before pursuing any form of medical action. Duplication in any part or form of this document is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. For further information please read our disclaimer. Web-Site related inquiries can be directed to the Information Provider.