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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Psychogenic hemifacial spasm.

Facial spasms that distort facial expression are typically due to facial dystonia, tics, and hemifacial spasm (HFS). Psychogenic facial spasms, however, have not been well characterized. The authors sought to 1) determine prevalence of psychogenic facial spasm in patients referred for evaluation of HFS and 2) draw attention to clinical characteristics and potential diagnostic pitfalls. Among 210 consecutive patients referred for evaluation of HFS, 5 (2.4%) received diagnoses of psychogenic facial spasm. All patients were female; mean age was 34.6 years (range 26-45) and mean symptom duration 1.1 years (range 2 wk-2 yr). Onset was left-sided in 3 patients, and the lid was the initial site affected in 2 patients. This series of patients shows that facial spasms, although usually of neurovascular etiology, may be the initial or only manifestation of a psychogenic movement disorder, often associated with an underlying depression.[1]


  1. Psychogenic hemifacial spasm. Tan, E.K., Jankovic, J. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences. (2001) [Pubmed]
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