Assessment
Questionnaire

Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
 
Articles » NINDS Trigeminal Neuralgia Information Page: NINDS
 

NINDS Trigeminal Neuralgia Information Page: NINDS

Article title: NINDS Trigeminal Neuralgia Information Page: NINDS

Main condition: Trigeminal_Neuralgia

Conditions: Trigeminal Neuralgia



What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia, also called tic douloureux, is a condition that affects the trigeminal nerve (the 5th cranial nerve), one of the largest nerves in the head. The trigeminal nerve is responsible for sending impulses of touch, pain, pressure, and temperature to the brain from the face, jaw, gums, forehead, and around the eyes. Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by a sudden, severe, electric shock-like or stabbing pain typically felt on one side of the jaw or cheek. The disorder is more common in women than in men and rarely affects anyone younger than 50. The attacks of pain, which generally last several seconds and may be repeated one after the other, may be triggered by talking, brushing teeth, touching the face, chewing, or swallowing. The attacks may come and go throughout the day and last for days, weeks, or months at a time, and then disappear for months or years.

Is there any treatment?
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia typically includes anticonvulsant medications such as carbamazepine or phenytoin. Baclofen, clonazepam, gabapentin, and valproic acid may also be effective and may be used in combination to achieve pain relief. If medication fails to relieve pain, surgical treatment may be recommended.

What is the prognosis?
The disorder is characterized by recurrences and remissions, and successive recurrences may incapacitate the patient. Due to the intensity of the pain, even the fear of an impending attack may prevent activity. Trigeminal neuralgia is not fatal.

What research is being done?
Within the NINDS research programs, trigeminal neuralgia is addressed primarily through studies associated with pain research. NINDS vigorously pursues a research program seeking new treatments for pain and nerve damage with the ultimate goal of reversing debilitating conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia. NINDS has notified research investigators that it is seeking grant applications both in basic and clinical pain research.

 Organizations

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin, CA 95677-0850
ACPA@pacbell.net
https://www.theacpa.org/
Tel: 916-632-0922
Fax: 916-632-3208

National Chronic Pain Outreach Association (NCPOA)
P.O. Box 274
Millboro, VA 24460
ncpoa@cfw.com
Tel: 540-862-9437
Fax: 540-862-9485

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
2801 SW Archer Road
Suite C
Gainesville, FL 32608
tna@csionline.net
https://www.tna-support.org/
Tel: 352-376-9955
Fax: 352-376-8688

National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain
1330 Skyline Drive
#21
Monterey, CA 93940
mgordon@mbay.net
https://www.paincare.org/
Tel: 831-655-8812
Fax: 831-655-2823

Related NINDS Publications and Information

  • Chronic Pain: Hope Through Research
    Information booklet on pain compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
  • Headache: Hope Through Research
    Information booklet about headaches, including migraines.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia: Opportunities for Research and Treatment
    Summary of a workshop, "Trigeminal Neuralgia: Opportunities for Research and Treatment," September 1999.

    This fact sheet is in the public domain. You may copy it.Provided by:
    The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    National Institutes of Health
    Bethesda, MD 20892


  •  

    By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

    Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise