Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia Information Page

Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia Information Page


What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes at the National Institutes of Health conduct research related to GN and support additional research through grants to major research institutions across the country.  Much of this research focuses on finding better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure disorders such as GN.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

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What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes at the National Institutes of Health conduct research related to GN and support additional research through grants to major research institutions across the country.  Much of this research focuses on finding better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure disorders such as GN.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes at the National Institutes of Health conduct research related to GN and support additional research through grants to major research institutions across the country.  Much of this research focuses on finding better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure disorders such as GN.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

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Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN) is a rare pain syndrome that affects the glossopharyngeal nerve (the ninth cranial nerve that lies deep within the neck)  and causes sharp, stabbing pulses of pain in the back of the throat and tongue, the tonsils, and the middle ear.  The excruciating pain of GN can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and may return multiple times in a day or once every few weeks.  Many individuals with GN relate the attacks of pain to specific trigger factors such as swallowing, drinking cold liquids, sneezing, coughing, talking, clearing the throat, and touching the gums or inside the mouth.  GN can be caused by compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve, but in some cases, no cause is evident.  Like trigeminal neuralgia, it is associated with multiple sclerosis.  GN primarily affects the elderly.

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Definition

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN) is a rare pain syndrome that affects the glossopharyngeal nerve (the ninth cranial nerve that lies deep within the neck)  and causes sharp, stabbing pulses of pain in the back of the throat and tongue, the tonsils, and the middle ear.  The excruciating pain of GN can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and may return multiple times in a day or once every few weeks.  Many individuals with GN relate the attacks of pain to specific trigger factors such as swallowing, drinking cold liquids, sneezing, coughing, talking, clearing the throat, and touching the gums or inside the mouth.  GN can be caused by compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve, but in some cases, no cause is evident.  Like trigeminal neuralgia, it is associated with multiple sclerosis.  GN primarily affects the elderly.

Treatment
Treatment

Most doctors will attempt to treat the pain first with drugs.  Some individuals respond well to anticonvulsant drugs, such as carbamazepine and gabapentin.  Surgical options, including nerve resection, tractotomy, or microvascular decompression, should be considered when individuals either don’t respond to, or stop responding to, drug therapy.  Surgery is usually successful at ending the cycles of pain, although there may be some sensory loss in the mouth, throat, or tongue.

×
Treatment

Most doctors will attempt to treat the pain first with drugs.  Some individuals respond well to anticonvulsant drugs, such as carbamazepine and gabapentin.  Surgical options, including nerve resection, tractotomy, or microvascular decompression, should be considered when individuals either don’t respond to, or stop responding to, drug therapy.  Surgery is usually successful at ending the cycles of pain, although there may be some sensory loss in the mouth, throat, or tongue.

Definition
Definition

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN) is a rare pain syndrome that affects the glossopharyngeal nerve (the ninth cranial nerve that lies deep within the neck)  and causes sharp, stabbing pulses of pain in the back of the throat and tongue, the tonsils, and the middle ear.  The excruciating pain of GN can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and may return multiple times in a day or once every few weeks.  Many individuals with GN relate the attacks of pain to specific trigger factors such as swallowing, drinking cold liquids, sneezing, coughing, talking, clearing the throat, and touching the gums or inside the mouth.  GN can be caused by compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve, but in some cases, no cause is evident.  Like trigeminal neuralgia, it is associated with multiple sclerosis.  GN primarily affects the elderly.

Treatment
Treatment

Most doctors will attempt to treat the pain first with drugs.  Some individuals respond well to anticonvulsant drugs, such as carbamazepine and gabapentin.  Surgical options, including nerve resection, tractotomy, or microvascular decompression, should be considered when individuals either don’t respond to, or stop responding to, drug therapy.  Surgery is usually successful at ending the cycles of pain, although there may be some sensory loss in the mouth, throat, or tongue.

Prognosis
Prognosis

Some individuals recover from an initial attack and never have another.  Others will experience clusters of attacks followed by periods of short or long remission.  Individuals may lose weight if they fear that chewing, drinking, or eating will cause an attack. 

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Some individuals recover from an initial attack and never have another.  Others will experience clusters of attacks followed by periods of short or long remission.  Individuals may lose weight if they fear that chewing, drinking, or eating will cause an attack. 

Prognosis
Prognosis

Some individuals recover from an initial attack and never have another.  Others will experience clusters of attacks followed by periods of short or long remission.  Individuals may lose weight if they fear that chewing, drinking, or eating will cause an attack. 

Definition

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN) is a rare pain syndrome that affects the glossopharyngeal nerve (the ninth cranial nerve that lies deep within the neck)  and causes sharp, stabbing pulses of pain in the back of the throat and tongue, the tonsils, and the middle ear.  The excruciating pain of GN can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and may return multiple times in a day or once every few weeks.  Many individuals with GN relate the attacks of pain to specific trigger factors such as swallowing, drinking cold liquids, sneezing, coughing, talking, clearing the throat, and touching the gums or inside the mouth.  GN can be caused by compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve, but in some cases, no cause is evident.  Like trigeminal neuralgia, it is associated with multiple sclerosis.  GN primarily affects the elderly.

Treatment

Most doctors will attempt to treat the pain first with drugs.  Some individuals respond well to anticonvulsant drugs, such as carbamazepine and gabapentin.  Surgical options, including nerve resection, tractotomy, or microvascular decompression, should be considered when individuals either don’t respond to, or stop responding to, drug therapy.  Surgery is usually successful at ending the cycles of pain, although there may be some sensory loss in the mouth, throat, or tongue.

Prognosis

Some individuals recover from an initial attack and never have another.  Others will experience clusters of attacks followed by periods of short or long remission.  Individuals may lose weight if they fear that chewing, drinking, or eating will cause an attack. 

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes at the National Institutes of Health conduct research related to GN and support additional research through grants to major research institutions across the country.  Much of this research focuses on finding better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure disorders such as GN.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

Patient Organizations
American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin
CA
Rocklin, CA 95677-0850
Tel: 916-632-0922; 800-533-3231
Publications

Chronic pain information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Patient Organizations