Facial onset sensory and motor neuronopathy (FOSMN syndrome): Cases series and systematic review

Neurol Sci. 2023 Jun;44(6):1969-1978. doi: 10.1007/s10072-023-06703-1. Epub 2023 Mar 3.


Objective: To provide new and comprehensive evidence for diagnosis and management of FOSMN syndrome.

Methods: We reviewed our database to identify patients with FOSMN syndrome. Online database including PubMed, EMBASE, and OVID were also searched for relevant cases.

Results: We identified a total of 71 cases, including 4 cases from our database and 67 ones from online searching. A predominance of male was observed [44 (62.0%)] with median onset age of 53 (range: 7-75) years old. The median (range) disease duration was 60 (3-552) months at the time of the visit. The initial symptoms could be sensory deficits in face (80.3%) or oral cavity (4.2%), bulbar paralysis (7.0%), dysosmia (1.4%), dysgeusia (4.2%), weakness or numbness of upper limbs (5.6%), or lower limbs (1.4%). Abnormal blink reflex was presented in 64 (90.1%) patients. CSF tests showed elevated protein level in 5 (7.0%) patients. Six (8.5%) patients had MND-related gene mutation. Five (7.0%) patients showed transient responsiveness to immunosuppressive therapy, then deteriorated relentlessly. Fourteen (19.7%) patients died, with an average survival time of around 4 years. Among them, five patients died of respiratory insufficiency.

Conclusion: The age of onset, progress of disease course, and prognosis of FOSMN syndrome could be varied significantly. The prerequisites of diagnosis were progressive and asymmetric lower motor neuron dysfunction, with sensory dysfunction which usually showed in face at the onset. Immunosuppressive therapy could be tried in some patients with suspected inflammatory clues. In general, FOSMN syndrome tended to be motor neuron disease with sensory involvement.

Keywords: Diagnosis; FOSMN syndrome; Review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blinking
  • Bulbar Palsy, Progressive*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease* / complications
  • Motor Neuron Disease* / diagnosis
  • Motor Neuron Disease* / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases*
  • Young Adult