Children with temporary facial paralysis can recover without medicine

Wednesday 14th September 2022 07:21 EDT

A new study states a majority of youngsters with a syndrome that temporarily weakens or paralyses the muscles in the face recover without medicine within six months. According to research conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and published in Neurology, prednisolone did not significantly affect a child’s recovery from Bell’s palsy. Professor at Murdoch, Franz Babl noted that while studies on adults with the condition had shown that using steroids helped to lessen facial nerve swelling and temporal bone damage, no such studies had been conducted on children.

About 187 people with the condition who visited EDs between the ages of six months and 17 years participated in the randomised-controlled experiment. The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) research network in Australia and New Zealand provided the sites for the study, which was conducted in 11 EDs. They were enrolled within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms, and for 10 days, either prednisolone or placebo was administered to them.

According to the study, facial function was restored in 57% of people who did not take any medicine after one month, 85% after three months, and 93% after six months. In those who received prednisolone, recovery rates were 49% after one month, 90% after three months, and 95% after six months. The most frequent adverse reactions were brief changes in behaviour and an increase in appetite. There were no significant side effects noted during the experiment.

The third most frequent condition producing an abrupt change in nerve function in children is Bell's palsy, which makes half of the face droop. The actual origin of facial paralysis is typically unknown, but it may be connected to a viral illness.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter