Acoustic Neuroma Association
600 Peachtree Parkway
Suite 108
Cumming, GA 30041

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University of Wisconsin Facial Nerve Clinic

Mixed Methods Investigation of Chronic Facial Paralysis in Individuals with Synkinesis: Study of Outcomes Before and After Treatment

Enrollment period: open until January 2021

What is the purpose of this study?

To compare the effectiveness of two widely accepted treatments for synkinesis: injection with Botox (or Xeomin) and neuromuscular retraining therapy, and to learn how synkinesis affects a person’s quality of life.  By comparing treatment outcomes for synkinesis in a controlled study, we hope to help patients and clinicians understand the benefits of one treatment over the other and to determine the best order of treatments.  Using interviews and computer-based tasks conducted during the study, researchers will gain a better understanding of the patient experience with synkinesis.

Who qualifies to participate in the study?

  • Age > 18 years
  • Patients who develop synkinesis after Acoustic Neuroma surgery or after any other cause of facial paralysis
  • Patients who are evaluated at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Facial Nerve Clinic who undergo an including standardized photographs and videos

Who does not qualify for the study?

  • Those with early recovery before 4 months during the facial nerve recovery period

What will happen in this study?

If you decide to participate in this research study, you will have the opportunity to review, discuss and sign a research consent form at the Facial Nerve Clinic.

  • Study participants will be assigned by chance to receive either neuromuscular retraining therapy (NMR) or injection with Botox (or Xeomin) for four months. After four months, the other treatment will be added so that you receive both treatments for four months.
  • You will receive both treatments during the study, but not be able to choose the order.
  • You will also complete computer-based tasks and questionnaires during two 60-minute visits. These activities are designed to assess your perception/recognition of facial expressions and to learn how synkinesis affects your quality of life.
  • In addition to treatment visits, patients will participate in interviews lasting about one hour. The interview will include questions about your facial symptoms and how they affect your daily activities and emotions.  You will have three interviews: the first before treatment, the second after 4 months treatment, and the third at 8 months after completing both treatments.

Will the study cost me anything? Will I be compensated for my time?

You are not expected to be responsible for any additional costs if you participate in this research study.

You will be paid $25 for each of the three interviews and two visits to complete the computer-based task. Thus, you will receive a total of $125 if you complete all the study visits. 

However, you will have to pay for basic expenses like any childcare, food, or transportation related to study activities.

I’m interested in the study. What is the next step to see if I qualify?

You need to establish care as a patient with the UW Health Facial Nerve Clinic. Please see www.uwhealth.org/facialnerve for more details, or call (608) 263-6190 to schedule an appointment.

What if I still have questions?

You can contact our team with any questions by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leaving a voicemail at (608) 262 – 7895. A member of our study team will reach out to you within 3 business days.

Thank you for your interest in our study,

Scott Chaiet, MD, MBA, FACS
Assistant Professor of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Director, University of Wisconsin Facial Nerve Clinic