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January 1969

Management of Bell's Palsy: Experimental Aspects

Author Affiliations

Danville, Va
From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, Va.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(1):144-146. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020146026

E xperimental evidence is accumulating which seems to substantiate some of the current ideas about the etiology and treatment of Bell's palsy. The riddle of Bell's palsy still needs to be solved, but the increasing interest in facial nerve experimentation will undoubtedly result in a solution to this perplexing problem.

Medical Management.—At the present time the management of Bell's palsy is based on the ischemic theory; the cause of the disease is, however, unknown. Therefore, the administration of corticosteroids, vasodilating drugs, and stellate ganglion block can be regarded as empiric therapy, designed to reduce edema and to restore circulation to the ischemic nerve. Admittedly the high spontaneous recovery rate makes the clinical evaluation of the medical treatment of Bell's palsy difficult. Many studies point, however, toward a quicker and improved recovery when an active medical program is employed. In the future controlled experiments will probably be done to assess

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