According to a new study, the majority of youngsters with a syndrome that temporarily weakens or paralyses the muscles in the face recover without medicine within six months.
Prednisolone did not significantly affect a child’s recovery from Bell’s palsy, according to research conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and published in Neurology.
Franz Babl, a professor at Murdoch Children’s Hospital, noted that while studies on adults with Bell’s palsy had shown that using steroids helped to lessen facial nerve swelling and temporal bone damage, no such studies had been conducted on children.
187 people with Bell’s palsy who visited EDs between the ages of six months and 17 years participated in the randomised-controlled experiment. The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) research network in Australia and New Zealand provided the sites for the study, which was conducted in 11 EDs. They were enrolled within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms, and for 10 days, either prednisolone or placebo was administered to them (no active drug).
According to the study, the facial function was restored in 57% of people who did not take any medicine after one month, 85% after three months, and 93% after six months. In those who received prednisolone, recovery rates were 49% after one month, 90% after three months, and 95% after six months. The most frequent adverse reactions were brief changes in behaviour and an increase in appetite. There were no significant side effects noted during the experiment.
The third most frequent condition producing an abrupt change in nerve function in children is Bell’s palsy, which makes half of the face droop. The actual origin of facial paralysis is typically unknown, but it may be connected to a viral illness.
The use of steroids in children with Bell’s palsy has not been proven, according to Professor Babl, which has resulted in inconsistent treatment methods. Knowing that early prednisolone therapy doesn’t expedite recovery may aid general practitioners, emergency room doctors, and paediatricians in having more educated conversations with impacted families.
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