Is Trigeminal Neuralgia Hereditary?

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Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition which usually affects the trigeminal nerve. It is more common among women than men and is more likely to occur in people over 50. Trigeminal neuralgia may worsen over time and it is difficult to be cured. According to the study, trigeminal neuralgia is not hereditary although in some cases the patient’s some family members have the disease. The main causes of trigeminal neuralgia are as follows.
  • Aging
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Facial trauma
  • Surgical injuries
  • Brain lesion
Keywords: trigeminal neuralgia hereditary
The main cause of classical Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as TN-1, is an artery or vein pressing against the protective covering of the trigeminal nerve. Slowly over time the compression will wear away the protective nerve covering.  When the nerve finally becomes exposed it becomes hyper sensitive to all stimulus and causes horrific shock or electrical like pain that last momentarily.  The electrical shocks may come in waves but the "drop to the floor" pain comes and goes without warning.  This is the main kind of pain produced.  Some people may feel horrific pain in their nose, ear or other facial area.  The very best treatment for classic trigeminal neuralgia is a Microvascular Decompression surgery.  It's known as a MVD.  It has the highest level of success.  Pain medication for classic trigeminal neuralgia (TN-1) in not effective.  Nerve block medication is the most effective and is often used as a test to made a diagnosis of classic trigeminal neuralgia. Over time higher and higher doses of nerve medication is required to manage the pain.
Early Stroke symptoms
What is the success rate for the surgical procedure for trigeminal neuralgia?
Microvascular decompression has almost immediate pain relief with high success rates of approximately 73%-80% of people experiencing pain-free periods up to 5 years.1 The potential risks of this procedure are meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, hearing loss, brain swelling/bleeding, and facial numbness/paralysis among others.
The success rates of gamma knife surgery for TN include an estimated 52%-69% of people experiencing pain-free lives from up to 3 years.1 The pain relief from this procedure may be delayed by at least a month in most cases. Common side effects include paresthesia, sensory loss, and/or facial numbness.
Percutaneous procedures for TN are injections administered by piercing the skin of the cheek to reach the trigeminal ganglion or gasserian ganglion, where the three branches of the trigeminal nerve come together. These procedures are usually performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray guidance). Pain relief from these procedures are seen in 90% of people immediately following treatment, however, a long-term follow up by 5 years may vary. Sensory loss and/or numbness in the face are among the possible side effects of these procedures.
I am a 72 year old female and have had Tgn for about 15 years.  The pain has recently become more resistant to tegretol I'm on 1400 mg. Daily.  My blood tests have come very close to toxic lately.  Should I consider surgery now and if so then which type?  I had gamma knife surgery about 12 years ago.
I think you should go to see a neurologist to seek alternative medications rather than surgery directly. I think they will suggest you other medications first.
Your question is best answered by a "highly experienced with trigeminal neuralgia patients" neurosurgeon.  Your age makes it a decision based on your general health at this time.  I had my MVD at age 70 in Nov 2017 and have  been  100% pain free and medication free since that time.  My neurosurgeon had performed over 1000 MVDs and had  the experience necessary to help me make the very best decision possible for "me".  I had classic trigeminal neuralgia or TN-1.  My only symptom was horrific shocks going up my the right inside of my nose to my  eye.  The shocks picked me up and dropped me to the floor. For me,  my decision was easy.  My neurosurgeon was Dr. Robert Mericle in Nashville, TN.  I researched his experience on unbiased sites and found him to be one of the most highly experienced neurosurgeons doing over 1000 MVDs at the time.  If the very best and most highly recommended neurosurgeon doesn't have the hands on experience of doing at least 500 MVDs than he may not be the best neurosurgeon to allow to touch your brain.   The more hands on experience actually performing MVDs the better the outcome. I wasn't influenced by "well known" name like Mayo because they all say their people are the best and when it comes to very rare conditions like trigeminal neuralgia that is far from being accurate.   Choose your neurosurgeon based on your neurosurgeon's experience and not on the name of the hospital he/she works at.
Thank you for posting your experience with MVD. My daughter has MS and sever trigeminal neuralgia . She has had one surgery with no success. If I can get her to your doctor, maybe we can get help. Her pain medicine is no longer helping and we need help.
My neurosurgeon is Dr. Robert Mericle in Nashville, TN.  He has performed well over 1000 Microvascular Decompression surgeries on patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia.  His address is :  Nashville Neurosurgery Group, PLC,  330 22nd Avenue North,  Nashville, TN 37203.  His phone number is 615 320 0007.