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June 1996

Twelfth-Nerve Palsy: Analysis of 100 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Neurol. 1996;53(6):561-566. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550060105023

Objective:  To describe the causes and characteristics of hypoglossal nerve palsy.

Design:  A review of 26 years of personal experience in a large public hospital.

Results:  Twelfth-nerve palsies usually appear as signs rather than symptoms. Tumors, predominantly malignant, produced nearly half of the palsies (49 cases), while gunshot wounds made trauma (12) the second most common cause. Stroke (6), hysteria (6), multiple sclerosis (6), surgery (5), Guillain-Barré neuropathy (4), and infection (4) together accounted for about one third of the patients.

Conclusion:  Twelfth-nerve palsy proved to be an ominous sign, with only 15% of patients experiencing complete or nearly complete recovery.

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