Our Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Definition of Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Ramsay Hunt syndrome: A herpes virus infection of the geniculate nerve ganglion that causes paralysis of the facial muscles on the same side of the face as the infection. The geniculate ganglion is a sensory ganglion associated with the VIIth cranial nerve.

The Ramsay Hunt syndrome is usually associated with a rash and blisters.

The syndrome is named for the pre-eminent 20th-century American neurologist James Ramsay Hunt (1872-1937). One common error in writing his name is to spell Ramsay as Ramsey and another common error is to put a hyphen between the Ramsay and the Hunt. There is none.

There are three variations or types of Ramsay Hunt syndromes, including:

Including:

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome I: A disorder characterized by myoclonus and signs of cerebellar dysfunction, especially intention tremor and ataxia, and occasional tonic-clonic seizures. Also known as myoclonus and ataxia. Described by Ramsay Hunt in 1921.

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome II: This is far and away the best known syndrome associated with Ramsay Hunt's name. It is due to a herpes virus infection of the geniculate nerve ganglion that causes paralysis of the facial muscles on the same side of the face as the infection.

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome III: Occupational compression neuritis of the deep palmar branch of the ulnar nerve.

Last Editorial Review: 10/8/2012

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