Bell's palsy

Common Name(s)

Bell's palsy

Bell's palsy is a condition that affects the nerves in the face and results in weakness of the muscles in the face. Facial nerves carry electrical messages from the brain to the face that tell the muscles to move and help with actions like blinking or smiling. The exact cause of Bell’s palsy is not known, but it usually happens in response to a viral infection, such as the herpes virus or Epstein-Barr virus. The infection causes the facial nerves to swell and become pinched, which stops the messages from being sent correctly to one side of the face. In rare cases, both sides of the face can be affected.

Symptoms of Bell’s palsy develop quickly. In some cases, the affected person wakes up to find they have complete loss of facial muscles (paralysis) while other affected people do not have paralysis until several days after the first symptoms. Symptoms may include difficulty with closing one eye all the way, a droopy appearance to the face, difficulty making facial expressions, dryness in one eye, trouble tasting at the front of the tongue on the affected side, changes in the amount of saliva or drooling, and sensitivity to sound on the affected side. Risk factors for Bell’s palsy include age (older people are more likely to have Bell’s palsy), having a weakened immune system, and pregnancy. Trauma to the face or skull may also cause Bell’s palsy.

There is no specific test for Bell’s palsy. A doctor will typically rule out more severe causes of facial weakness, such as a tumor or stroke, by ordering a test to measure nerve function (electromyography (EMG)) or imaging exams (MRI or CT scan). Most affected individuals recover in a few weeks while only a small amount of people will have symptoms for life. Treatment options include medications, therapy, and surgery. If you have been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, talk to a doctor about the most current treatment options.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Bell's palsy" for support, advocacy or research.

There are currently no organizations listed in Disease InfoSearch that support this condition. Create a listing.

 

 

General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Bell's palsy" returned 110 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Acupuncture-induced changes in functional connectivity of the primary somatosensory cortex varied with pathological stages of Bell's palsy.
 

Author(s): Xiaoxuan He, Yifang Zhu, Chuanfu Li, Kyungmo Park, Abdalla Z Mohamed, Hongli Wu, Chunsheng Xu, Wei Zhang, Linying Wang, Jun Yang, Bensheng Qiu

Journal: Neuroreport. 2014 Oct;25(14):1162-8.

 

Bell's palsy is the most common cause of acute facial nerve paralysis. In China, Bell's palsy is frequently treated with acupuncture. However, its efficacy and underlying mechanism are still controversial. In this study, we used functional MRI to investigate the effect of acupuncture ...

Last Updated: 27 Aug 2014

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Workplace cluster of Bell's palsy in Lima, Peru.
 

Author(s): Erik J Reaves, Mariana Ramos, Daniel G Bausch

Journal:

 

We report on a workplace cluster of Bell's palsy that occurred within a four-month period in 2011 among employees of a three-story office building in Lima, Peru and our investigation to determine the etiology and associated risk factors.

Last Updated: 4 Jun 2014

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Differences in the diameter of facial nerve and facial canal in bell's palsy--a 3-dimensional temporal bone study.
 

Author(s): Melissa Vianna, Meredith Adams, Patricia Schachern, Paulo Roberto Lazarini, Michael Mauro Paparella, Sebahattin Cureoglu

Journal: Otol. Neurotol.. 2014 Mar;35(3):514-8.

 

Bell's palsy is hypothesized to result from virally mediated neural edema. Ischemia occurs as the nerve swells in its bony canal, blocking neural blood supply. Because viral infection is relatively common and Bell's palsy relatively uncommon, it is reasonable to hypothesize that there ...

Last Updated: 12 Feb 2014

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Bell's palsy" returned 10 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

The neurologist's dilemma: a comprehensive clinical review of Bell's palsy, with emphasis on current management trends.
 

Author(s): Anthony Zandian, Stephen Osiro, Ryan Hudson, Irfan M Ali, Petru Matusz, Shane R Tubbs, Marios Loukas

Journal:

 

Recent advances in Bell's palsy (BP) were reviewed to assess the current trends in its management and prognosis.

Last Updated: 20 Jan 2014

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Bell's palsy and autoimmunity.
 

Author(s): A Greco, A Gallo, M Fusconi, C Marinelli, G F Macri, M de Vincentiis

Journal: Autoimmun Rev. 2012 Dec;12(2):323-8.

 

To review our current knowledge of the etiopathogenesis of Bell's palsy, including viral infection or autoimmunity, and to discuss disease pathogenesis with respect to pharmacotherapy.

Last Updated: 27 Nov 2012

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Is acupuncture beneficial in the treatment of Bell's palsy?: best evidence topic (BET).
 

Author(s): Alex Cumberworth, Nigel Tapiwa Mabvuure, Joseph M Norris, Simon Watts

Journal: Int J Surg. 2012 ;10(6):310-2.

 

A best evidence topic in facial nerve surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: in [patients with Bell's palsy], does [acupuncture] improve [facial nerve function and/or pain]? A total of 43 papers were identified using the reported search ...

Last Updated: 3 Jul 2012

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

The Relationship Between Psychological Factors and Bell's Palsy
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Bell's Palsy

 

Last Updated: 5 Nov 2011

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Last Updated: 18 Aug 2014

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The Role of a Device to Evaluate the Neuromuscular Function in Assessing Muscle in Facial Paralysis Patients
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Facial Nerve Palsy

 

Last Updated: 13 Jul 2015

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