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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

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Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by recurring facial paralysis, swelling of the face and lips (usually the upper lip), and the development of folds and furrows in the tongue. Onset is in childhood or early adolescence. After recurrent attacks (ranging from days to years in between), swelling may persist and increase, eventually becoming permanent. The lip may become hard, cracked, and fissured with a reddish-brown discoloration. The cause of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is unknown, but there may be a genetic predisposition. It can be symptomatic of Crohn's disease or sarcoidosis.

Treatment

Treatment is symptomatic and may include medication therapies with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids to reduce swelling, as well as antibiotics and immunosuppressants. Surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure on the facial nerves and to reduce swollen tissue, but its effectiveness has not been established. Massage and electrical stimulation may also be prescribed.

Prognosis

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome may recur intermittently after its first appearance. It can become a chronic disorder. Follow-up care should exclude the development of Crohn's disease or sarcoidosis.

Research

The NINDS supports research on neurological disorders such as Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. Much of this research is aimed at increasing knowledge of these disorders and finding ways to treat, prevent, and ultimately cure them.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Organizations

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

Federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. Committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.

55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

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