“The Origin of Synkinesis: the most common complication after Bell’s Palsy is in fact, reversible”
The Congress and its main topics
There were about 1500 delegates attending from all over the world. It was a well-organized event, with numerous plenary lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations, workshops and special meetings. The most widely discussed topics were neurorehabilitation after stroke, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and multiple sclerosis.
The aim of our trip to Philadelphia was to present results of our research to international scientific society and to increase the awareness about the problem and the social impact of long-standing Bell’s palsy complications.
From various conversations with delegates and members of Scientific Committee before and after the presentation we could conclude that neurorehabilitation after long-standing facial palsy (and Bell’s palsy in particular) is not likely to receive much attention or funding for scientific research in the near future. The reasons are simple. Governments do not see complications of Bell’s palsy as a potential threat to public health.Private companies invest available research funds into more acute and urgent areas, where marketable products are in high demand due to potential direct threat to health and lives from the “heavy-weights” of neurological diseases and disorders.
The Origin of Synkinesis – Abstract
This is the abstract of the scientific research of Crystal Touch Bell’s palsy clinic on The Origin of Synkinesis.
Contact person & Presenting Author
Mr Alex PASHOV
Crystal Touch Bell’s palsy clinic
Session type: Peripheral Neuropathy and Neuromuscular Disease
Topic: Basic Science/Regenerative Therapy
Presentation preference: Oral presentation
Keywords: Bell’s palsy, Bell’s palsy sequelae, treatment of synkinesis, synkinesis, facial asymmetry
Abstract title: THE ORIGIN OF SYNKINESIS: THE MOST COMMON COMPLICATION OF BELL’S PALSY IS IN FACT REVERSIBLE
To analyze inconsistencies in the existing theories of synkinesis after Bell’s palsy: aberrant regeneration, ephaptic transmission and nuclear hyperexitability. Using the new quantitative instrumental method of Synkinetic Correlation (SC), to research, define and substantiate the probable cause of synkinesis after long-standing Bell’s palsy. To investigate the resulting possibility to reverse facial synkinesis regardless of the time passed since the onset.
For 40 Bell’s palsy patients (32 female and 8 male, age 18-78, time since the onset >1 year) we measured oral-ocular and ocular-oral synkinesis, using Synkinetic Correlation method. First measurements were made during intake-meetings and final measurements – after 6 to 9 months of Neuro-Proprioceptive Rehabilitation (NPR) program. Results were analyzed from the perspective of existing theories of facial synkinesis.
Synkinetic Correlation between “muscles-Masters” and “muscles-Slaves” varied from 0.5 to 1.3. After rehabilitation programs, SC in 39 patients reduced on average to 0.2-0.6. One patient (aged 78) showed no change. Existing theories cannot explain Synkinetic Correlation >1, nor why after rehabilitation program, which did not include medications, Botox injections or surgery, the intensity of synkinesis showed an objectively measurable and lasting reduction.
The cause of facial synkinesis is the forming of a pathological mimetic pattern (PMP) in the volitional mimetic center of the brain. During early stages of Bell’s palsy patient exerts repeated mental efforts of high intensity, trying to produce facial movements. Due to high-intensity, those efforts cannot be finely differentiated between proper facial muscles. This leads to a “mass-movement” pattern of the resulting efferent signals. During long recovery period this pattern transforms into a conditioned reflex by constant repetition. When the regenerating nerve fibers finally reconnect to their facial muscles, PMP manifests itself in synkinesis. As any conditioned reflex, facial synkinesis can therefore be reversed by negative feedback.