Hemifacial spasm is a minor, but distressing, neurologic disease. The records of 663 patients seen at the Mayo Clinic for various unwonted movements of the face have been reviewed; of these, 106 had cryptogenic hemifacial spasm. While we have been primarily interested in clarifying the prognosis, many other aspects of the disease are not generally recognized and will be dealt with.
Our reason for choosing the term hemifacial spasm from the many terms1 available to describe this condition is simple. The disorder is a spasm that characteristically affects half the face. The alternate term facial hemispasm is incorrect because it is half the face which is affected by spasm, rather than half a spasm of the face.
Before the eighteenth century the term tic was applied to all abnormal movements of the face. André2 first used the term tic douloureux for grimacing disorders of the face that were
EHNI G, WOLTMAN HW. HEMIFACIAL SPASMREVIEW OF ONE HUNDRED AND SIX CASES. Arch NeurPsych. 1945;53(3):205-211. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1945.02300030042006