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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 164-177

Facial nerve stimulation as a future treatment for ischemic stroke

Centro Nacional de Investigación en Imagenología e Instrumentación Médica, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Mexico, NeuroSpring, Dover, Delaware, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mark K Borsody
NeuroSpring, 8 The Green, Suite #4676 Dover, DE 19001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2394-8108.195281

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Stimulation of the autonomic parasympathetic fibers of the facial nerve system (hereafter simply "facial nerve") rapidly dilates the cerebral arteries and increases cerebral blood flow whether that stimulation is delivered at the facial nerve trunk or at distal points such as the sphenopalatine ganglion. Facial nerve stimulation thus could be used as an emergency treatment of conditions of brain ischemia such as ischemic stroke. A rich history of scientific research has examined this property of the facial nerve, and various means of activating the facial nerve can be employed including noninvasive means. Herein, we review the anatomical and physiological research behind facial nerve stimulation and the facial nerve stimulation devices that are in development for the treatment of ischemic stroke.

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