How is Meige syndrome treated?

Botulinum toxin injections are used to reduce the involuntary contractions. It is the main treatment for Meige syndrome. Botulinum toxin is injected into the muscles around the eye and jaw to temporally paralyze these muscles, thus reducing the involuntary spasms. Treatments are usually given every three months.

Other drugs used for treatment are:

  • Clonazepam
  • Trihexyphenidyl
  • Diazepam
  • Baclofen

Success with oral medications is limited, however.

Low-voltage deep brain stimulation (DBS) has produced sustained and long-lasting improvement of dystonia symptoms in some patients with Meige syndrome. DBS involves placing a thin metal electrode into a specific area of the brain and attaching it to an implanted computerized pulse generator. The pulse generator can be thought of as a pacemaker for the brain. Settings are programmed by a doctor during office visits and can be adjusted to optimally control symptoms. DBS works by disrupting abnormal patterns of brain activity.

Activities such as chewing gum have been reported to help with symptoms. Because some spasms may be triggered by the environment, wearing sunglasses, and avoiding bright sunlight or windy conditions, may also help. Speech and swallowing therapy may reduce the severity of spasms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/20/2015.

References

  • LeDoux MS. Meige syndrome: what’s in a name? Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2009;15:483-489.
  • Czyz CN, Burns JA, Petrie TP, et al. Long-term botulinum toxin treatment of benign essential blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, and Meige syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol 2013;156:173-177.
  • Reese R, Gruber D, Schoenecker T, et al. Long-term clinical outcome in meige syndrome treated with internal pallidum deep brain stimulation. Mov Disord 2011;26:691-698.
  • Sako W, Morigaki R, Mizobuchi Y, Tsuzuki T, Ima H, Ushio Y, Nagahiro S, Kaji R, Goto S. Bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation in primary Meige syndrome. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2011;17:123-125.

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