Jaw, blink and corneal reflexes, which all involve the trigeminal system, were recorded in 54 patients with multiple sclerosis; thirty-seven of these patients were classified as having definite multiple sclerosis and 17 as indefinite multiple sclerosis, according to Schumacher's criteria. The jaw reflex was abnormal less frequently than either of the other two reflexes, but in four cases it was the only abnormal reflex found. Testing a combination of two or three trigeminal reflexes did not yield a higher incidence of abnormalities than testing the blink or corneal reflex alone. Nine patients showed abnormal reflexes which were unexpected on the basis of clinical symptoms. The combined recordings demonstrate at least one abnormal reflex in 74% of the patients. The various types of reflex abnormalities reflect major damage to different parts of the trigeminal system and may therefore make an important contribution to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
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