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Trigeminal Neuralgia Often Precedes MS Diagnosis

Int J MS Care; ePub 2017 Jan 31; Fallata, et al

In multiple sclerosis (MS), trigeminal neuralgia (TN) occurs frequently and precedes the diagnosis of MS in nearly 15% of individuals, a recent study found. Researchers surveyed participants in the North America Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry in 2009 regarding TN, including date of onset and pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments used. They found:

  • Among 8,590 eligible respondents to the survey, the prevalence of TN was 830 (9.7%).
  • Of these, 588 reported the year when TN was diagnosed.
  • The diagnosis of TN preceded MS in 88 (15.0%), and the mean (SD) age at diagnosis of TN was 45.3 (11.0) years.
  • The odds of reporting TN were higher among females and among those with greater disability and longer disease duration.
  • Pharmacologic treatments were used by 85% of respondents, while 9.7% underwent surgical interventions.


Fallata A, Salter A, Tyry T, Cutter GR, Marrie RA. Trigeminal neuralgia commonly precedes the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print January 31, 2017]. Int J MS Care. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2016-065.