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Brain function involved in recovery of facial paralysis is different according to sex
Date:11/9/2011

Research work drawn up by specialists from the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at the University of Navarra Hospital has shown that, after surgical treatment for facial paralysis through using muscular transplant and nervous transposition (connection of facial muscle to a nerve different from the injured facial nerve), the brain of a woman in comparison to that of a male - manages to adapt itself better, recovers the spontaneous smile and has a greater time period available for repairing the paralysis.

The research has been under way since 2000 with 114 patients of both sexes with facial paralysis and treated at the University of Navarra Hospital. The results will be published shortly in the internationally renowned specialised journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The research was undertaken using an own design system, known as Facial Clima, involving capturing movement with infra-red rays.

Better development of cerebral plasticity

According to the conclusions of the study, "the results obtained highlight the relevance that patient gender has when planning strategy for reconstruction in facial paralysis", stresses Doctor Bernardo Hontanilla, Director of the Department. The surgical treatment of facial paralysis involved the specialists from the University of Navarra Hospital making muscular transplants connected to the cruciate facial nerve (the healthy facial nerve, corresponding to the unaffected side of the face) or to the masseteric nerve, controlling the masseter muscle, responsible for mastication, given that the movement of closing the mouth is similar to that of the smile.

Given the results, the plastic surgeon stated that, "in the female cases a "remapping" of the brain function resulted, in a way that the woman managed the smile movement through using the masseteric nerve, triggered through the area of the brain corresponding to the facial nerve". In this way, the r
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Contact: Oihane Lakar
o.lakar@elhuyar.com
0034-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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