What is trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?

Updated: Jul 11, 2019
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also known as tic douloureux, is a distinctive facial pain syndrome that may become recurrent and chronic. It is characterized by unilateral pain following the sensory distribution of cranial nerve V (typically radiating to the maxillary or mandibular area in 35% of affected patients) and is often accompanied by a brief facial spasm or tic. See the image below.

Microscopic demonstration of demyelination in prim Microscopic demonstration of demyelination in primary trigeminal neuralgia. A tortuous axon is surrounded by abnormally discontinuous myelin. (Electron microscope; 3300×).

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