Trigeminal nerve ophthalmic and motor division function was assessed clinically and electrically in 32 patients who had undergone various surgical procedures for trigeminal neuralgia. Using known electrophysiological techniques, the orbicularis oculi and jaw reflexes were tested in all subjects. Abnormalities of the orbicularis oculi reflex were anticipated on the basis of ophthalmic division anaesthesia. However, jaw reflex abnormalities appeared in operated cases with no clinical or electromyographic evidence of masseter denervation. These results were unexpected, and imply that the proprioceptive fibres of the jaw reflex are mediated by a sensory and not a motor root as previously believed.
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