Botulinum toxin therapy of hemifacial spasm: comparing different therapeutic preparations


Karen Frei, MD, The Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Institute, 9900 Talbert Ave. Suite no. 204, Fountain Valley, CA 92708, USA (tel.: +1 714 378 5062; fax: 714 378 5061;


Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is characterized by involuntary irregular clonic or tonic movements of the muscles innervated by cranial nerve VII on one side of the face, and is most often a result of vascular compression of the facial nerve at the root exit zone (Muscle and Nerve 1998;21:1740). Disability associated with this disorder ranges from social embarrassment to interference with vision resulting from involuntary eye closure. Treatment of HFS most often involves botulinum toxin injections, but may also include medications and surgery. We describe treatment with the three types of botulinum toxin currently commercially available – Botox®, Dysport® and Myobloc®/NeuroBloc®.