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Keywords:

  • trigeminal neuralgia;
  • facial pain;
  • familial syndrome

The paroxysmal facial pain of trigeminal neuralgia is usually idiopathic, but familial cases have been described. We describe a family with apparent autosomal dominant transmission of trigeminal neuralgia. Our cases and a review of the literature suggest that the etiology of trigeminal neuralgia may be vascular compression of the fifth cranial nerve. Autosomal dominant vascular and epileptic disorders are reviewed, and possible relationships to familial trigeminal neuralgia are considered.