Auditory Evoked Blink Reflex in Peripheral Facial Paresis
Akalin, Mehmet Ali
Kiziltan, Meral E.
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Purpose:The auditory blink reflex (ABR) is a teleceptive reflex consisting of an early brief muscle contraction of the orbicularis oculi in response to sound stimuli. Constriction of the orbicularis oculi in response to auditory stimulation is accepted as a part of the startle reaction. The blink reflex and ABR might share a final common pathway, consisting of facial nerve nuclei and the facial nerve and may have common premotor neurons.Methods:In this study, the authors evaluated the value of the ABR in patients with peripheral facial palsy (PFP), cross-checking the results with commonly used blink reflex changes.Results:In total, 83 subjects with PFP and 34 age-matched healthy volunteers were included. Auditory blink reflex was elicited in all control subjects and in 36 PFP cases on the paralytic sides (43.3%), whereas it was asymmetric in 30.1% of the patients. Auditory blink reflex positivity was significantly lower in PFP cases with increasing severity. Blink reflex results were largely correlated with ABR positivity.Conclusions:Auditory blink reflex is a useful readily elicited and sensitive test in PFP cases, providing parallel results to blink reflex and being affected by disease severity.