Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Last Reviewed : 12/29/2020
Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN or TGN) is a chronic pain disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve. There are two main types: typical and atypical trigeminal neuralgia. The typical form results in episodes of severe, sudden, shock like pain in one side of the face that lasts for seconds to a few minutes. Groups of these episodes can occur over a few hours. The atypical form results in a constant burning pain that is less severe. Episodes may be triggered by any touch to the face. Both forms may occur in the same person. It is one of the most painful conditions and can result in depression.

The exact cause is unclear but believed to involve loss of the myelin around the trigeminal nerve. This may occur due to compression from a blood vessel as the nerve exits the brain stem, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or trauma. Less common causes include a tumor or arteriovenous malformation. It is a type of nerve pain. Diagnosis is typically based on the symptoms after ruling out other possible causes such as postherpetic neuralgia.

Treatment includes medication or surgery. The anticonvulsant carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine is the usual initial treatment and is effective in about 80% of people. Other options include lamotrigine, baclofen, gabapentin, and pimozide. Amitriptylinemay help with the pain but opioids are not usually effective in the typical form. In those who do not improve or become resistant to other measures, a number of types of surgery may be tried.

It is estimated that 1 in 8,000 people develop trigeminal neuralgia a year. It usually begins in people over 50 years old, but can occur at any age. Women are more commonly affected than men. The condition was first described in detail in 1773 by John Fothergill.

We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.



Basic information: nationla institute of neurological disorders and stroke trigeminal neuralgia mayoclinic trigeminal neuralgia nhs uk trigeminal neuralgia americanassociation of neurological surgeons trigeminal neuralgia web md what is trigeminal neuralgia? mayfield trigeminal neuralgia healthline trigeminal neuralgia medline plus trigeminal neuralgia,66/ john hopkins medicine trigeminal neuralgia family doctor trigeminal neuralgia merck manuals trigeminal neuralgia newyork times trigeminal neuralgia better health trigeminal neuralgia university of maryland medical center trigeminal neuralgia very well severe facial pain from trigeminal neuralgia in multiple sclerosis


Advanced information: medscape trigeminal neuralgia medicine net trigeminal neuralgia patient trigeminal neuralgia medical news today what is trigeminal neuralgia? what causes trigeminal neuralgia? emedicine health trigeminal neuralgia national organisation of rare diseases trigeminal neuralgia radiopedia trigeminal neuralgia trigeminal neuralgia rudolph m. krafft, md, northeastern ohio universities college of medicine, rootstown, ohio am fam physician. 2008 may 1;77(9):1291-1296.,-trigeminal/ health service executive trigeminal neuralgia



roy c, chatterjee n. classical is not that simple: lesson from trigeminal neuralgia. saudi j anaesth [serial online] 2014 [cited 2017 jan 26];8, suppl s1:120-1. available from:

hai j, li st, pan qg. treatment of atypical trigeminal neuralgia with microvascular decompression. neurol india [serial online] 2006 [cited 2017 jan 26];54:53-6. available from: trigeminal neuralgia post-styloidectomy in eagle syndrome: a case report by john william blackett et al., journal of medical case reports20126:333 doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-333 yuko ono, tsuyoshi shimo, yoshinori shirafuji, et al., “drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome caused by carbamazepine used for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia,” case reports in dentistry, vol. 2016, article id 4605231, 4 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/4605231

hashmi ma, guha g, saha b. trigeminal neuralgia in an hiv patient. j global infect dis [serial online] 2010 [cited 2017 jan 26];2:65-6. available from: chemokine ccl2 and its receptor ccr2 in the medullary dorsal horn are involved in trigeminal neuropathic pain by zhi-jun zhang et al., journal of neuroinflammation20129:136 doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-9-136

maluli ha. dofetilide induced trigeminal neuralgia. indian j pharmacol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 jan 26];47:336-7. available from:

gupta v, singh a k, kumar s, sinha s. familial trigeminal neuralgia. neurol india [serial online] 2002 [cited 2017 jan 26];50:87. available from: facial herpes zoster infection precipitated by surgical manipulation of the trigeminal nerve during exploration of the posterior fossa: a case report by nassir mansour et al., journal of medical case reports20093:7813 doi: 10.4076/1752-1947-3-7813

ramesh vg. author's reply: surgical approaches to trigeminal neuralgia. neurol india [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 jan 26];64:1392-3. available from: guy c. jones, ameer l. elaimy, john j. demakas, et al., “feasibility of multiple repeat gamma knife radiosurgeries for trigeminal neuralgia: a case report and review of the literature,” case reports in medicine, vol. 2011, article id 258910, 4 pages, 2011. doi:10.1155/2011/258910 alexander mason, kristen ayres, sigita burneikiene, alan t. villavicencio, e. lee nelson, and sharad rajpal, “a novel case of resolved postherpetic neuralgia with subsequent development of trigeminal neuralgia: a case report and review of the literature,” case reports in medicine, vol. 2013, article id 398513, 3 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/398513

niranjan a, lunsford l d. radiosurgery for the management of refractory trigeminal neuralgia. neurol india [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 jan 26];64:624-9. available from:

de almeida holanda mm, pereira neto ng, de moura peixoto g, pinheiro santos rh. trigeminal neuralgia secondary to basilar impression: a case report. j craniovert jun spine [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 jan 26];6:76-8. available from:

qayoom n, syed s, ali z, khan t. trigeminal neuralgia: an overview of the clinical entity. j int clin dent res organ [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 jan 26];7:165-7. available from:


Other helpful resources(support groups): facial pain association trigeminal neuralgia association uk trigeminal neuralgia association australia trigeminal neuralgia association of canada


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Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: indian express how to get treated for the ‘suicide disease’, trigeminal neuralgia bbc 'suicide disease' man is pain-free after 20 years of suffering cnn the shocking, stabbing pain disorder you've never heard of daily mail stunning student's smile masks the agony of a rare disorder, which triggers stabbing pains across her face at the slightest touch

read more: the hindu awareness on trigeminal neuralgia abysmally low times of india painful nerve disorder 'trigeminal neuralgia' very common in ludhiana

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