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Prednisolone for idiopathic (bell’s) facial palsy


When we discussed facial palsy in 19681 corticotrophin therapy was advocated. Since then oral corticosteroids have been tried and this article discusses their efficacy. Permanent clinical denervation of the affected facial muscles occurs in about a third of patients after Bell’s palsy2 3 and leads to persistent weakness. Some of the patients develop associated movements, or very rarely crocodile tears, due to aberrant regeneration. The movements can be very distressing. The incidence and severity of permanent denervation is related both to the severity of the damage to the facial nerve and to the age of the patient. It is very common over the age of 70 years, but rare below the age of 10 years.

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