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- a facial nerve palsy is paralysis of the facial nerve.
- the facial nerve is the motor supply to the scalp, facial muscles and stapedius.
It also supplies taste in the anterior 2/3 of the tongue via the chorda tympani
- the course of the facial nerve through the posterior fossa, temporal bone,
and parotid gland makes it vulnerable to many neoplastic, traumatic, and infectious
- a peripheral facial paralysis requires a complete head and neck examination
including the following:
- cranial nerve evaluation. (1)
- the function of the facial nerve is tested as follows in the neurological
- the patient is asked to raise the eyebrows
- the brow is spared in a unilateral upper motor neurone lesion -
for example a stroke affecting one half of the face will spare the
- if there is an upper motor neurone lesion affecting the facial
nerve then the ability to wrinkle the brow is preserved; in Bell's
palsy this ability is lost
- the patient is asked to screw up the eyes and resist attempts by
the examiner to open the eyes
- facial movement:
- smiling, blowing out the cheeks, etc.
Last reviewed 01/2018