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Electromyographic feedback in the treatment of bilateral facial paralysis: A case study

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Electromyographic feedback in the treatment of facial paralysis has been shown to be a useful alternative to surgical procedures. In this paper we report on the partial recovery of a 7-year-old patient with congenital bilateral facial paralysis (Moebius syndrome) that had been considered untreatable by medical specialists. Biofeedback of electromyographic activity was provided together with specific instructions, social reinforcement, and exercises that the patient carried out at home. The rehabilitation training lasted 1 year, during which there was a substantial increase in the electromyographic activity of the muscles on both sides of the face. A follow-up after 1 year of discontinuing the treatment showed that the muscle activity had been maintained and that there was a marked improvement in the patient's mood and facial expression.

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Correspondence to Xóchitl Gallegos.

Additional information

This research was partially supported by the Programa de Apoyo a las Divisiones de Estudios de Posgrado (PADEP) of the Coordinación General de Estudios de Posgrado of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and by Sabbatical Fellowship 48367 granted by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia to the first author, who is presently on leave of absence at Coquitlam College, Coquitlam, B.C., Canada.

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Gallegos, X., Medina, R., Espinoza, E. et al. Electromyographic feedback in the treatment of bilateral facial paralysis: A case study. J Behav Med 15, 533–539 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00844946

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Key words

  • electromyographic (EMG) feedback
  • facial paralysis
  • children