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Once the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia are suspected, usually the most important test to get is a brain MRI scan. The reason for that is that we want to be looking and seeing if there's an actual mass that's pushing on the trigeminal nerve. That's uncommon. Most of the time we're getting the MRI scan to sort of say, "look, you don't have a brain tumor as the underlying cause of this." Sometimes the brain MRI scan will show a blood vessel that's pushing up against the nerve, which is what we think in most people may be the irritative cause on the nerve producing the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia.

Doctor Profile

Abhay Sanan, MD


  • Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Clinical Assistant Professor in both the Division of Neurosurgery and the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Arizona, University Medical Center
  • Has received numerous awards throughout his career for research

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