Bell's Palsy vs. Lyme Disease

Glen Tamura gtamura at
Tue Aug 19 13:46:58 EST 1997


Bell's palsy is facial nerve paralysis. As such, it is not really a
disease, but a symptom. Many cases of Bell's Palsy are "idiopathic" (i.e.
cause unknown). The Lyme spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) can cause a
variety of neuropathies, including facial nerve paralysis. Hence the
physician's connection between Bell's Palsy (a symptom) and Lyme Disease
(a particular infection). 

Glen Tamura, M.D., Ph.D.

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997, Karen wrote:

> Is there anyone who can tell me the relation between Bell's Palsy and Lyme 
> disease- or at least a good website that may discuss either one. My fiancee 
> recently was experiencing the typical symptoms for Bell's Palsy (partial 
> facial paralysis, blurry vision, lack of taste, etc.) But when he went to his 
> doctor he said it is possible it may actually be Lyme Disease since he had 
> been camping in Michigan for the previous 2 weeks and may have been biten by 
> ticks. He didn't notice the telltale rash or any other symptoms of Lyme 
> Disease. Does anyone have any insight on how these two are related or how the 
> doctor went from Bell's to Lyme? Thanks.
> Karen

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