Historical perspectives on the diagnosis and treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

Chad D. Cole, James K. Liu, Ronald I. Apfelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Since the earliest recorded history of medicine, physicians have been challenged by the difficulty in relieving the great pain experienced by individuals suffering from trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The nature of the pain and the events that incite it have been well described, but effective treatments with acceptable levels of side effects remained elusive until the latter part of the 20th century. As a result, many theories about the origins of TN have been proposed, along with numerous treatment modalities. The pathophysiological causes of TN remain incompletely understood, but the medical and surgical treatment techniques currently used offer effective ways to relieve this extremely painful condition. In this historical review the authors discuss the initial descriptions of tic douloureux, Fothergill disease, and TN, along with various therapeutic interventions and their refinements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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