Is trigeminal neuralgia related to RSD? Are they similar? What is root cause of those disorders?
No, TN and RSD are not related. Trigeminal neurlagia is due to a lesion in the distribution of the trigeminal nerve (which supplies sensation to one half of the face). In most cases, no cause can be found. In other patients, an abnormality in an artery ( vascular loop) may press against the nerve causing changes at that site (some patients are treated surgically if this loop can be identified). Other less frequent causes include multiple sclerosis and tumors. Pain is usually brief (lasting a few seconds), electric shocks often precipitated by touch, cold weather and other sensory stimuli.
Episodes can occur several times during the day. Tegretol is an effective medication for control of the symptoms. RSD is a subject of much controversy, therefore, the direct pathophysiology is not known. It is described as a continuous pain in a portion of an extremity (arm/leg) that does not involve a major nerve root. Symptoms usually occur distally (hand/feet) and are usually present following trauma or injury to the etremity. There is also associated sense change, weakness, changes in blood flow, and changes in sweating (either increased or decreased). Therapies that have proven beneficial include sympathetic block, steroids and in severe cases surgery. Good Luck.
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