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Hemifacial Spasm

more about Hemifacial Spasm


  • A Hemifacial spasm is a disorder characterized by a repetitive twitching of one side of the facial muscles innervated by the facial nerve. It affects men and women equally, occurring most often during middle age.


  • Hemifacial spasms usually begin with a unilateral twitching of eyelid, gradually spreading to one side of the middle and lower face.
  • Twitching can be triggered or worsen by emotional stress and fatigue.
  • Hemifacial spasms may worsen over the years without remission, and persist throughout a lifetime.


  • The most common cause is an irritation of the facial nerve at its exit from the brain by a small blood vessel.
  • Hemifacial spasms can occur as a result of the incorrect regeneration of nerves following facial palsy (Bell's palsy).
  • Facial nerve compression by the tumors such as acoustic neuroma


  • Electromyography -- examination the electrical activities of facial twitching
  • Brain MRI -- detects the mass lesion that compresses facial nerves such as Brain Tumors

  • Tics
  • Essential blepharospasm -- bilateral twitching confined to the eyelid and the forehead.
  • Tourette's Syndrome -- associated with an involuntary cough, grunts and whistles

  • Medication -- in mild cases, twitching can be controlled through the use of some anti-seizure drugs or minor tranquillizers, such as tegretol, clonazepam and diazepam. However, the drugs need to be taken on a long-term basis, and it is not always a successful form of treatment.
  • Neurosurgery -- repositioning of the irritating blood vessels or the removal of the tumor
  • Botulinum toxin injection -- tiny doses of the botulinum toxin are effective in stopping facial spasms for several months. It works by blocking the abnormal signal sent from the facial nerve to the twitching muscles.




more about Hemifacial Spasm


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