Foix Chavany Marie syndrome

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Foix Chavany Marie syndrome (also called FCMS or opercular syndrome - which refers to the portion of the brain that is affected) is a rare condition characterized by weakness or paralysis of certain parts of the face, throat and jaw muscles. This condition is caused by damage to a specific part of the brain (operculum). Symptoms may include: difficulty chewing or swallowing, inability to move the tongue, and loss of speech. However because the whole face is not affected, some movements are still possible, such as smiling, yawning, and crying. Less than 150 cases have been reported so far, and indicate that this condition can present at any age. Common causes of FCMS are brain malformation (when the brain does not develop properly before birth), brain infection or disease, brain tumor (abnormal growth) or stroke (problem or disruption of the blood supply to the brain). In children it is often associated with epilepsy (seizures) and slowed physical development. Diagnosis is based on clinical exams, patient history, and MRI tests. Treatment generally focuses on feeding and speech difficulties and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, most reported cases show poor improvement.

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