Trigeminal neuralgia is an extremely painful inflammation of the trigeminal nerve which causes severe lightening-like facial pain on the involved side.
These painful attacks may occur after lightly touching different skin areas of the face, along the course of this cranial nerve. Specific medications can be very effective in reducing the rate of attacks, but surgical intervention may be necessary.
Often, no cause can be found, although areas of brain inflammation or abnormal blood vessels (Arteriovenous malformations) can be responible and require more specific treatment.
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.
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