BAPRAS statement in response to BBC Radio 2, Jeremy Vine Show - misinformation about Botox for Bell's palsy

11th May 2022


We were surprised and disappointed by the misinformation around the use of Botox for patients with Bell’s Palsy that was aired on the Jeremy Vine show on 9 May 2022.

Botox is commonly used in the treatment of patients with Facial Palsy (which includes Bell’s Palsy), as the consequences of a Bell’s palsy include:

1. Synkinesis: where the stimulation of one muscle results in the involuntary activation of another muscle, for example resulting in winking whilst eating (due to an abnormal communication of the nerve fibres as they recover) 

2.Overly activated and tense muscles (as the recovered nerve fibres remains irritated after being inflamed for a certain period of time.)

In addition, it is used to selectively weaken some normal muscles in order to improve symmetry whilst maintaining essential function (for example weakening the forehead muscles on the normal side, to prevent the appearance of an overly mobile and expressive forehead on one side and a paralysed half on the other).


We would appreciate it if the Jeremy Vine show would kindly correct the misinformation for the sake of their listeners who do have a facial palsy, as this misinformation may be detrimental.

We would also be delighted to work with the program in the future to educate their listeners about facial palsy, as this is a commonly forgotten topic in a very deserving group of people who sadly suffer in silence.


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