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January 2019

Familial Trigeminal Neuralgia Cases Implicate Genetic Factors in Disease Pathogenesis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Yale-Rockefeller National Institutes of Health Centers for Mendelian Genomics, Yale Center for Genome Analysis, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA Neurol. 2019;76(1):9-10. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.3322

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), characterized by brief, recurrent paroxysms of lancinating pain in the distribution of 1 or more branches of the trigeminal nerve (fifth cranial nerve [CN V]), is one of the most common, severe, and likely overdiagnosed forms of neuropathic pain. For decades, neurosurgical dogma has stressed the role of neurovascular compression (NVC) of the centrally myelinated portion of the cisternal segment of CN V in disease pathogenesis, reinforcing the use of microvascular decompression for treatment.