How does idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) differ in presentation from multiple sclerosis-associated trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?

Updated: Jul 11, 2019
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and trigeminal neuralgia have similar complaints to those with the idiopathic variety, except that these individuals present at a much younger age (often < 40 y). Some present with atypical facial pain, without trigger zones, and without the lancinating brief paroxysms of discomfort. Atypical facial pain is characterized by persistent pain in the facial region and can be further divided into pain with demonstrable organic disease and conditions in which no pathology can be found. As previously noted, trigeminal neuralgia is not unusual in multiple sclerosis, but it is rarely the first manifestation. Typically, it occurs in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis.

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