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Quick Case

Trigeminal Neuralgia in a Middle-Aged Woman

A 49-year-old woman who worked as a nurse in an intensive care unit presented to her primary care physician with stabbing, electrical pain in her head and face. The physician prescribed carbamazepine and baclofen to try to help her with what she believed to be neuralgia.

The medications helped ameliorate the pain, but she experienced serious adverse effects, including impaired cognitive function, balance, and coordination. In addition, soon after her consultation, she had an abscessed tooth removed and developed tension headaches and right-sided neck, shoulder, arm, and hand pain.

With the pain unrelenting and its cause essentially unknown, she consulted Duke neurologist Wolfgang Liedtke, MD, PhD, who focuses on researching and treating occipital and trigeminal neuralgia as well as trigeminal sensory disorders.

Question: How did Liedtke help manage the patient’s pain?

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