Trigeminal Neuralgia is caused by a misfiring of the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for sensation in the face. An attack causes brief episodes of extreme, shooting pain in the face and most commonly affects older people. The trigeminal nerve consists of a thick root at the base of the brain and three branches that extend to the face. These branches sense touch and control the chewing muscles. TN usually occurs when an artery or vein compresses the root of the trigeminal nerve, causing it to misfire. The nerve can also be irritated by a tumor or other disorder. Pain is triggered with contact to the face, brushing teeth, applying makeup, shaving, eating, talking and exposure to the wind. Symptoms include an attack that can last seconds or minutes categorized by an intense sensation of burning or electric shock, typically on one side of face. Treatment includes medications, electrical stimulation and surgery.
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