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      A case report: Numb Chin Syndrome due to thalamic infarction: a rare case

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          Abstract

          Background

          Numb Chin Syndrome (NCS), which is also characterized as sensory neuropathy of the mental nerve, describes a mostly unilateral numbness of the chin and lower lip. Benign and malignant diseases are known to cause this circumscribed symptom, which can easily be overlooked or misdiagnosed. In this article we present the very rare case of a clinical NCS caused by thalamic lacunar infarction. As a pure sensory stroke it is a rare variant of the Cheiro-Oral Syndrome (COS).

          Case presentation

          A 63-year-old male patient received an emergency referral to our department after the patient had noticed a feeling of numbness of the left lower lip and chin on the previous day. The neurological examination revealed an approximately 2 × 3 cm area of hypoesthesia in the area of the chin and left lower lip and the cranial MRI an acute ischemia in the right thalamus.

          Conclusions

          In this case report we introduce a patient who clinically shows an NCS. Various diseases may be responsible for NCS, including malignancies or even central neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. A lacunar thalamic ischemia as a cause of NCS is very rare and to our knowledge described in the literature only in the contex of a COS in three cases. We wish to remind the reader, through this case, of the purely descriptive and syndromal character of the NCS and the importance for detecting underlying diseases. Furthermore we give a brief overview of the NCS and causative disorders.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Mandibular nerve involvement in diabetic polyneuropathy and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

          Sensory complaints in the area of the mandible and mouth often escape notice or remain undiagnosed. Using electromyographic recording of the trigeminal reflexes and motor responses, we sought trigeminal dysfunction in 50 patients with peripheral neuropathy, and tried to gain pathophysiological information on the mechanisms provoking trigeminal damage. Trigeminal reflex recordings (early and late blink reflex after supraorbital stimulation, early and late masseter inhibitory reflex after mental stimulation, and jaw jerk) disclosed abnormalities caused by sensory trigeminal neuropathy in 8 out of 15 patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), 13 out of 23 patients with severe diabetic polyneuropathy, and in none of 12 patients with mild diabetic polyneuropathy. Six patients had abnormal motor responses in facial or masseter muscles. The response affected most frequently was the masseter early inhibitory reflex (also called first silent period, SP1) after mental nerve stimulation, its latency being strongly delayed. We found these long delays not only in patients with CIDP, but also in diabetic patients with severe polyneuropathy. We conclude that peripheral polyneuropathies often cause subclinical damage to the trigeminal nerve, especially to its mandibular branch. We believe that the nerve fibers running along the alveolar-mandibular pathway are more exposed to damage because of their cramped anatomical route in the mandibular canal and below the internal pterygoid muscle and fascia.
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            Malignant mental nerve neuropathy: systematic review.

            Malignant mental neuropathy (MMN) is a neurological manifestation of cancer, characterized by the presence of hypoesthesia or anesthesia restricted to the territory of the mental branch of the mandibular nerve. A systematic review of the literature has been made on MMN, analyzing the etiology, pathogeny, clinical characteristics, complementary tests and the prognosis. Sixteen studies, providing 136 cases were selected. Breast cancer and lymphomas were the most frequently associated malignant diseases. The most frequent pathogenic mechanisms producing neurological involvement were: peripherally, mandibular lesions; and centrally, tumors at the base of the cranium. Regarding clinical characteristics, manifestation of MMN was the primary symptom of malignant disease in 27.7% of cases, and a first symptom of recurrence in 37.7%. The group of selected studies included 50 orthopantomographs, 9 mandibular computed tomographies and 50 radiographic examinations of the cranial region. The most affected region was the mandible. The appearance of MMN is an ominous prognosis for the progression of the disease, with a mortality of 78.5% within a mean of 6.9 months.
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              Numb Chin Syndrome.

              "Numb chin syndrome" (NCS) refers to new-onset numbness of the lower lip and chin within the distribution of the mental or inferior alveolar nerves. While this focal numbness may be downplayed or even overlooked by patients and clinicians, in the right clinical scenario this may be the presenting symptom of an underlying malignancy. In the absence of any obvious, temporally related dental cause, there are certain conditions that clinicians should consider including orofacial and systemic malignancies as well as several inflammatory disorders. Thorough diagnostic evaluation should always be performed when no clear cause is evident. This paper will discuss the differential, recommended evaluations, and the prognosis, for a patient presenting with NCS.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (+49)-381 494 9511 , florian.rimmele@med.uni-rostock.de
                henning.maschke@med.uni-rostock.de
                annette.grossmann@med.uni-rostock.de
                TimPatrick.Juergens@med.uni-rostock.de
                Journal
                BMC Neurol
                BMC Neurol
                BMC Neurology
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2377
                29 November 2019
                29 November 2019
                2019
                : 19
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Neurology, Headache Center North-East, University Medical Center Rostock, Gehlsheimer Str. 20, 18147 Rostock, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Rostock, Schillingallee 35, 18057 Rostock, Germany
                Article
                1525
                10.1186/s12883-019-1525-x
                6884807
                31783736
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Case Report
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Neurology

                numb chin syndrome, trigeminal, thalamic stroke, cheiro-oral syndrome, sensory neuropathy

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