Treatment of Blepharospasm/Hemifacial Spasm

Kemar E. Green, David Rastall, Eric Eggenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The treatment of both hemifacial spasm (HFS) and blepharospasm (BEB) requires making the appropriate clinical diagnosis. Advance imaging and electrophysiologic studies are useful; however, one’s clinical suspicion is paramount. The purpose of this review is to summarize current and emerging therapies for both entities. Botulinum toxin (BTX) remains the first-line therapy to treat both conditions. If chemodenervation has failed, surgery may be considered. Due to the risks associated with surgery, the benefits of this option must be carefully weighed. Better surgical outcomes are possible when procedures are performed at tertiary centers with experienced surgeons and advanced imaging techniques. Microvascular decompression is an efficacious method to treat HFS, and myectomy is an option for medication-refractory BEB; the risks of the latter may outweigh any meaningful clinical benefits. Oral agents only provide short-term relief and can cause several unwanted effects; they are reserved for patients who cannot receive BTX and/or surgery. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has gained some traction in the treatment of BEB and may provide safer non-invasive options for refractory patients in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Blepharospasm (BEB)
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Dystonia
  • Facial nerve
  • Hemifacial spasm (HFS)
  • Involuntary movement
  • Microvascular decompression (MVD)
  • Myectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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