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May 21, 1982

Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Pennsylvania and Episcopal Hospital Philadelphia

JAMA. 1982;247(19):2661. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320440013015

To the Editor.—  Both an editorial (1981;245:2519) and an article (1981; 245:2521) on the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia in The Journal infer that until the present, it has not been possible to relieve this pain without undue adverse effects or a high rate of recurrence. I quite agree that the treatment of this problem by the majority of neurosurgeons now in practice is fairly presented. I am not "taking up the cudgels" to reverse the modern trend, since that is not yet indicated, despite the aggressive enthusiasm of proponents for change. I do desire to set the record straight. In the first place, tic douloureux was treated successfully in the past, and second, to infer otherwise destroys a standard by which recent efforts can be truly judged.Grant1 reported in 1938 on Frazier's and his own series of retrogasserian operations on the trigeminal nerve in 925 patients with tic douloureux.