New treatment a cure for Bell's Palsy

Published on October 19, 2007 at 12:58 AM · 16 Comments

Scottish experts have discovered that Bell's Palsy, a syndrome which causes the muscles on one side of the face to become paralysed, can now be cured by a new steroid treatment.

Bell's Palsy affects the facial nerve which enables people to smile and close their eyes.

The researchers at Dundee University found that treating the condition early on with prednisolone completely cured some people in three months and offered a 95 per cent chance of complete recovery after nine months.

Bell's Palsy affects one in 60 people during their lifetime and can strike almost anyone at any age; it more commonly affects pregnant women and people with diabetes, flu, colds and other upper respiratory ailments.

The cause of the condition remains a mystery, but it is widely treated with expensive anti-viral drugs.

The new study says that the relatively cheap steroid prednisolone was the "best treatment" and offered "significantly" better recovery rates than the anti-viral agent acyclovir, which they say "has little benefit".

Professor Frank Sullivan, the director of the Scottish School of Primary Care at the university, and his team examined about 500 sufferers and he says the new treatment offers a significant improvement in how Bell's Palsy is dealt with and will make a real difference to patients.

Professor Sullivan says the study gives clear-cut evidence that early treatment with steroids offers by far the best results for complete recovery.

The study was led by Dundee University, with support from other Scottish universities at Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and GP services around the country.

The findings have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Posted in: Medical Condition News

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Comments
  1. clementia clementia United States says:

    I have had bells palsy for about four years now and it feels very uncomfortable. I need help.

  2. minus20 minus20 Australia says:

    The first time I had Bells Palsy, I was treated with steroids and it completely went away. That was way back in 1975. The second time was in 1993, and I went to two doctors who said that the recent medical research showed that steroids DID NOT HELP. The third doctor I went to, refered me to a specialist, who put me on prednisone straight away. this was after the 4th or 5th day of paralysis. Had I recieved the treatment straight away I'm sure that it would not be as bad as what it is now. I don't think that this is new research, I just think that researchers keep changing their mind. Its been 17 years now, and I'm still trying to make it move normal.

  3. Christine Gabut Christine Gabut Philippines says:

    I have had bell's palsy for about 15 years now. Please help me what to do. I need it to be treated. Pls help me!

    • Michael Olsen Michael Olsen United States says:

      New clinical studies have shown that combining prednisone in conjunction with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy will not only alleviate most of the symptoms but build a foundation for neurological healing that will give you long term recovery. In some studies a 68% cure rate. Permanent.

  4. Hazel Kellner Hazel Kellner United Kingdom says:

    I have had Bell's Palsy for 20 years now, Can it be treated after this amount of time? please help.

  5. Lois Christensen Lois Christensen United States says:

    This is my second day with Bells palsy, I started on predisone on the first day I noticed it. I will let you know how it works I will check back in a week

  6. Louis Cruz Louis Cruz United States says:

    Sixty patients with Bell's palsy were included in an open randomized trial. Patients were assigned into three treatment groups: steroid (group 1), methylcobalamin (group 2) and methylcobalamin + steroid (group 3). Comparison between the three groups was based on the number of days needed to attain full recovery, facial nerve scores, and improvement of concomitant symptoms. The time required for complete recovery of facial nerve function was significantly shorter ( p < 0.001) in the methylcobalamin (mean of 1.95 +/- 0.51 weeks) and methylcobalamin plus steroid groups (mean of 2.05 +/- 1.23 weeks) than in the steroid group (mean of 9.60 +/- 7.79 weeks). The facial nerve score after 1-3 weeks of treatment was significantly more severe (p < 0.001) in the steroid group compared to the methylcobalamin and methylcobalamin plus steroid groups. The improvement of concomitant symptoms was better in the methylcobalamin treated groups than the group treated with steroid alone.[1]

    1.  Jalaludin, M.A., Methylcobalamin treatment of Bell's palsy. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol, 1995. 17(8): p. 539-44.

  7. Jane Simmons Jane Simmons United States says:

    My son got up this morning with BellsPalsey,he was bitten by a spider last week at work and has had a fever with this I can't help but wonder if the infection from the bite might have caused the palsy .Any  thought on this from anyone ?

    • Diana Diana United States says:

      This is a serious thing. You must get it fixed right away. He could have gotten it from lyme disease which makes sense since he was bit by a bug. If it is Bell's Palsy, then it's also viral, so use Black Elderberry Syrup. (has to exactly, nothing that just sounds like it) I don't know how old your son is but they also make it for children. Also, organic Turmeric which is fantastic for any kind of inner body inflammation and that is also what happens with bells palsy. (you can even put it into small natural capsules to take)

  8. thina thina Spain says:

    I have had Bell's Palsy for 20 years now, Can it be treated after this amount of time? please help.I cannot smile not like before Im working as a front desk,Right now i dont have any confidence to smile..

    • Maria Eichhorn Maria Eichhorn United States says:

      Yesterday, i experienced my second attack of BP, the last time was in July of 2009: After that,i kept having strange sensations in my face and head that go on day and night, 24/7!, it does not top, no matter what i am doing, they can even be heard day or night.  People often think i am grinding my teeth.
      These sensatios have become completly bizarre! It feels as if there were tangible objects in my mouth, or someone was drilling in or drilling out screws, or as if something or was slithering under my skin,my nails, my hair etc.
      The most difficult part of this, is that there is no cure!!!
      i wonder if orher sufferers of BP are having simmilar experiences?
      The doctors say i wont die from it, but it sure steals much of my ejoyment of life.

  9. Shawn Robinson Shawn Robinson United States says:

    I was diagnosed with bells palsy on november 28 2012. I was devasted when I looked in the mirror. Im a massage therapist and i rememberd talking about bells palsy during the course. There was a protocol for bells palsy! its called lymphatic drainage. So I started working on myself as much as possible. Also I knew other massage therapists who know this technique and I had them also work on me. I had super results after 1 month! it is feburary 1 2013 and Im almost completley recovered...I can shut my eye, my full smile is back, taste came back after the first month, I can flare my nostril. I should mention though that Doctors started me on prednisone on the second day i presented. If you suffer with Bells Palsy I really recommend finding a Certified Massage   Therapist and see if they know lymphatic drainage massage or can refer you to one.

  10. Adithya Unni Govindan Adithya Unni Govindan India says:

    I was diagnosed with bells palsy around 10 years back. I was only 14 and did not consider the long term effects of the dysfunction. Iam now 23 and most of its effects has disappeared post to undergoing various  treatments. However my smile has not completely recovered to its full extent (70%) and my eyebrows and the upper area is still weak.  PLease could someone help me by suggesting any way of reducing these effects as they do feel uncomfortable and embarrassing at some moments.

  11. Aisha yetunde babalola Aisha yetunde babalola Nigeria says:

    MY DAUGHTHER WOKE UP WITH BELL'S PALSY I NEED A CONTACT OF A GP WHO CAN TREAT MY DAUGTHER IN EITHER UK OR SOUTH AFRICA!

  12. Dinis Quelhas Dinis Quelhas United Kingdom says:

    Hi Michael, I live in the UK. Do you have any idea where I can get the treatment you're talking about? I've had Bell's Palsy 26 years ago and I still have some signs of it. Many thanks in advance!

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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