03 Jan Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms Could Be Treated With Stem Cell Therapy
Trigeminal neuralgia is considered one of the more painful conditions in the medical community. It was primarily misunderstood for some time and is still hard to diagnose at times. This painful condition may be controlled with stem cell therapy.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is considered to be one of the most painful conditions that a patient can have. TN is a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve called the trigeminal nerve. The typical form of the disorder is called TN1. This causes extreme, and sudden burning or shock-like facial pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed, like the lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw. The pain episodes last from a few seconds to as long as two minutes. These attacks can occur in quick succession or periods lasting as long as two hours. The less common form of the disorder, called TN2, causes aching, burning, stabbing pain of a lower intensity than TN1. Both types of pain may occur in the same person and sometimes at the same time.
The trigeminal nerve is one of 12 pairs of nerves that are attached to the brain. The nerve has three branches that conduct sensations from the upper, middle, and lower portions of the face, as well as the oral cavity, to the brain. More than one nerve branch can be affected by the disorder. Rarely, both sides of the face may be affected at different times in an individual, or even more rarely at the same time. TN is associated with a variety of conditions. It can be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve as it exits the brain stem, which prompts the wearing away or damage to the protective coating around the nerve.
The intense flashes of pain can be triggered by vibration or contact with the cheek, brushing teeth, eating, drinking, talking, or being exposed to the wind. Depression and sleep disturbance may make a patient more vulnerable to painful attacks. TN diagnosis is based on a patient’s history and description of their symptoms, along with results from physical and neurological examinations. Because of the many different symptoms, and the large number of conditions that can cause facial pain, diagnosing TN can be challenging. Treatment options include anticonvulsant medications used to block nerve signals and antidepressants used to treat pain.
Typical pain medications and opioids are generally not very helpful in treating the pain. The condition is progressive, meaning the attacks often worsen over time. Eventually, the pain-free intervals disappear and medication to control the pain becomes less effective. Patients opt to have surgery, which may or may not be effective. Pain-free periods after surgery can be different for everyone, and occasionally surgery makes the pain worse than before.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms?
Stem cell therapy has been used successfully in the clinical setting to treat trigeminal neuralgia symptoms. This method of treatment is safe and generally uses stem cells taken from a patient’s fat tissue. It is a noninvasive way to treat trigeminal neuralgia for patients who want to avoid surgery.