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May 15, 2008

Disorders Of The Neck And Face (Part 3)

This week in Anatomy we're studying the neck and face. So, I thought I would share some disorders that we talked about. One disorder we talked about was Bell's Palsy.

Bell's palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of the two facial nerves. When Bell's palsy occurs, the function of the facial nerve is disrupted, causing an interruption in the messages the brain sends to the facial muscles. This interruption results in facial weakness or paralysis.

Luckily Bell's palsy resolved itself on its own after about a month. However, never assume that if you have facial weakness, drooping or paralysis that Bell's Palsy is the cause, as there are many underlying causes for these symptoms. For example, my father exhibited symptoms such as these, along with an inability "to find the button to close his pants" one morning. We thought Bell's palsy at first, then possibly a mild stroke. Sadly, we later found out he had lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain. He underwent physical therapy to prevent shrinking and shortening of the involved muscles and showed improvement in his paralysis symptoms in just a few days.

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Posted by linda at May 15, 2008 7:32 AM

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