Bell's Palsy May be Caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Reactivation

New findings "strongly" implicate reactivation of herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) in the development of Bell's palsy. It remains to be seen whether facial palsy .is caused by direct injury to the facial nerve or by a virus-associated immune-mediated mechanism.

J Med Virol March 1998;54:162-166.

COMMENT: Bell's palsy is a relatively uncommon problem that frequently progresses to paralysis of the facial muscles causing facial and eyelid drooping. It is interesting to note this association as therapies directed at improving the immune system or homeopathics for herpes simplex might be particularly helpful in treating this illness.

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