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Ramsay-Hunt syndrome

Ramsay-Hunt syndrome is a disorder that is caused by the destruction of one of the ganglions of the facial nerve, which is responsible from the movements of facial muscles, the touch sensation of a part of ear and ear canal, the taste function of the frontal two-thirds of the tongue and the moisturization of the eyes and partially of the mouth.

The symptoms and signs include the paralysis of the facial nerve (see Bell's palsy), pain in the ear, taste loss in two-thirds of the tongue, dry mouth and dry eyes. Since the acoustic nerve is in close proximity with the facial nerve, it may also be affected and patients may also suffer from tinnitus, vertigo and deafness.

The cause of this syndrome is usually a virus called as herpes zoster[?] and in case of a herpes zoster infection, lesions are expected to be observed in the ear canal and ear drum. However, lack of these lesions do not definitely exclude the existence of a herpes infection. The treatment is symptomatic and analgesics may be used to relieve the pain. The symptoms and signs cease within weeks usually with some permanent functional loss.

The term, ‘’Ramsay-Hunt syndrome’’ is also used for a disorder that presents with the signs and symptoms of dementia, ataxia, myoclonus[?] and seizure. Previously thought to be an isolated and homogenous identity, this medical condition is now known to be caused by a wide range of diseases including Lafora disease and celiac disease.

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