What is the disease course of trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: Kim J Burchiel, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Once developed, trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is likely to have an exacerbating and remitting course. Over time, the pain-free intervals appear to diminish, and the pain becomes progressively more medically intractable. Temporary spontaneous remission may occur at any time, but permanent remission never occurs.

Without treatment, typical TN (TN1) may transform over time to become atypical TN (TN2), with a change in the character of the pain to more constant and background pain and the development of sensory impairment. Therefore, some authorities recommend early intervention to give the opportunity of pain relief without sensory deficits.


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