According to a New Study, Facial Paralysis Patients Show Significant Decrease in Quality of Life

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Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS, discusses the findings of the case study performed by researchers at the University of Groningen

In this particular study, it was evident that patients who suffered from facial paralysis experienced a significant decrease in quality of life, and showed more emotional, social, and behavioral problems in comparison to the healthy control group.

A renowned research group at the University of Groningen in Holland recently performed a case control pilot study to evaluate the influence of facial paralysis on the quality life, as well as the patient’s emotional and social behavior.

Acoustic neuroma, which is a benign cerebellopontine tumor associated with facial paralysis, has been associated with a reduction in quality of life. To further investigate the matter, the researchers at the University of Groningen decided to perform a controlled study on the subject.

For the study, twelve patients who suffer from facial paralysis were included. Five of the patients had facial paralysis caused by acoustic neuroma, and the remaining patients had facial paralysis caused by a different etiology. The study group was compared to a compatible, healthy control group. All participants filled out a set of six validated questionnaires, and also answered additional questions about facial paralysis. The researchers from the University of Groningen then used these questionnaires to measure the overall quality of life of the patients, as well as their emotional and social behavior.

Significant differences were found on all questionnaires, except one, and the findings strongly indicated that the patients who suffer from facial paralysis reported a worse quality of life compared to the healthy control group.

When comparing the patients with a acoustic neuroma to the patients with a different etiology of their facial paralysis, no noticeable differences were found. However, when asked about the amount of facial paralysis-related burden experienced, the patients with acoustic neuroma experienced significantly more problems.

"In this particular study, it was evident that patients who suffered from facial paralysis experienced a significant decrease in quality of life, and showed more emotional, social, and behavioral problems in comparison to the healthy control group,” says Beverly Hills facial paralysis specialist, Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS.

Acoustic neuroma and facial paralysis have been associated with a reduction in quality of life, something this recent study now seems to confirm.

"Although the sample size was small, significant differences were indeed found, indicating that patients with facial paralysis experience more social behavioral problems and have more characteristics of depression. While the findings certainly need to be further investigated to make the results more reliable, the researchers verified what many physicians have believed for years,” says Dr. Azizzadeh.

At the Facial Paralysis Institute, renowend expert Dr. Azizzadeh provides both surgical help to restore more normal facial movement, as well as physical therapy and support groups to help patients overcome the difficulties of a decreased quality of life.

Dr. Babak Azizzadeh is a renowned Beverly Hills facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, recognized as a Top Doctor by the US News & World Report. Since his extensive and prestigious training at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Azizzadeh has helped countless people with facial paralysis and Bell's palsy. Dr. Azizzadeh is the director of the Facial Paralysis Institute and founder of the non-profit Facial Paralysis & Bell's Palsy Foundation. He is the principle investigator of facial nerve regeneration project at Cedars-Sinai, and the author of five bestselling books, including the definitive facial paralysis textbook entitled “Slattery Facial Nerve.”

Dr. Azizzadeh is trained in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, as well as Head & Neck Surgery, giving him a distinctive insight into facial nerve function and facial aesthetics. He has been recognized for his work on several occasions, and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show for his expertise in facial nerve reconstruction. Dr. Azizzadeh is also the director of the USC Facial Plastic Fellowship Program as well as the Cedars-Sinai Multispecialty Plastic Surgery Symposium.

For more information visit http://www.FacialParalysisInstitute.com or call (310) 657-2203.

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