Purpose of Video
Facial nerve dysfunction affects 20 to 30 per 100,000 people each year, and the clinical treatment of facial nerve injury is not well standardized. Though steroids can alleviate acute facial nerve swelling and Botox is useful for reducing involuntary movements, primary treatment options currently involve surgical interventions and further research is needed to improve outcomes. This video describes consistent and reproducible methods to study axon regeneration and inhibition in a rat facial nerve injury model. It boasts tremendous potential toward furthering the understanding and treatment of the devastating consequences of facial nerve injury in human patients. Moreover, this approach has potential application for understanding and developing strategies to improve nerve function in neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS.