Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Drug combo helps Bell palsy patients recover

From CTV News:
Doctors have long been puzzled about how to help patients whose faces have become paralyzed by Bell's palsy. Now, a new Canadian study suggests a combination of drugs works best on the mysterious condition.

Bell palsy typically weakens or paralyzes a central facial nerve on one side of the face, leaving patients suddenly unable to either open or close their eye, or to work their mouth properly. While it's a relatively rare condition, many Canadians have heard of it because it's what caused the droop in former prime minister Jean Chretien's face.

It's not clear what causes Bell palsy, but what is known is that a central facial nerve becomes swollen. When it begins to press on the bone, paralysis results.

Ruth Heathcote came down with the condition one night in April, 2004. She tells CTV she thought at first she was having a stroke. ...more

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