Brain Plasticity in Möbius Syndrome After Unilateral Muscle Transfer: Case Report and Review of the Literature
Marre D, Hontanilla B.
Möbius syndrome is mainly characterized by bilateral facial palsy. Facial reanimation of these children is achieved by microsurgical techniques, namely free-gracilis muscle innervated by the masseteric nerve. Notorious commissure excursion and speech improvement are reported with such procedure. Several studies have demonstrated the presence of cortical reorganization after injury and repair of different segments of the body. Intensive training of a behaviorally relevant task is key in this process.
A 4-year-old patient with complete bilateral facial palsy secondary to Möbius syndrome was operated with left hemiface free-gracilis muscle transplant innervated by the masseteric nerve and submitted for postoperative physiotherapy. Eight months later, bilateral movement was noted.
Brain plasticity is likely to play an important role in smile restoration in patients with bilateral facial palsy. Intensive physiotherapy and psychosocial relevance of facial expression might be key in such phenomenon.