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NINDS Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome Information Page


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What is Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome?

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by recurring facial paralysis, swelling of the face and lips (usually the upper lip), and the development of folds and furrows in the tongue. Onset is in childhood or early adolescence. After recurrent attacks (ranging from days to years in between), swelling may persist and increase, eventually becoming permanent. The lip may become hard, cracked, and fissured with a reddish-brown discoloration. The cause of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is unknown, but there may be a genetic predisposition. It can be symptomatic of Crohn's disease or sarcoidosis.

Is there any treatment?

Treatment is symptomatic and may include medication therapies with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids to reduce swelling, as well as antibiotics and immunosuppressants. Surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure on the facial nerves and to reduce swollen tissue, but its effectiveness has not been established. Massage and electrical stimulation may also be prescribed.

What is the prognosis?

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome may recur intermittently after its first appearance. It can become a chronic disorder. Follow-up care should exclude the development of Crohn's disease or sarcoidosis.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports research on neurological disorders such as Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. Much of this research is aimed at increasing knowledge of these disorders and finding ways to treat, prevent, and ultimately cure them.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome Clinical Trials

Organizations

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National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT   06810
orphan@rarediseases.org
http://www.rarediseases.org
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

 


Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last updated September 30, 2011