Conclusion: The drug regimen plus electrical stimulation was more effective in treating Bell's palsy than the conventional drug treatment alone. The effectiveness of such a sub-threshold, continuous, low frequency electrical stimulation suggests a new therapeutic approach to accelerate nerve regeneration and improve functional recovery after injury.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether sub-threshold, continuous electrical stimulation at 20 Hz facilitates functional recovery of patients with Bell's palsy.
Materials and methods: The authors performed a prospective randomized study that included 60 patients with mild-to-moderate grade Bell's palsy (HB grade ≤4, SB grade ≥40), to evaluate the effect of developed electrical stimulation on the resolution of symptoms. Thirty patients were treated with prednisolone or/and acyclovir plus electrical stimulation within 7 days of the onset of symptoms. The other 30 patients were treated with only prednisolone or/and acyclovir as a control group.
Results: The overall rate of patient recovery among those treated with prednisolone or/and acyclovir plus electrical stimulation (96%) was significantly better (p < 0.05) than the rate among those treated with only prednisolone or/and acyclovir (88%).
Keywords: Facial palsy; electrical stimulation.