Current Research Projects and Foundation News
The Foundation for Facial Recovery is currently engaged in key research to help in the treatment of Facial Palsy and​ TMJD.
Below is an overview of our current research projects, as well as news about the Foundation:

The Foundation for Facial Recovery is hosting a Virtual Run/Walk fundraiser - FACE the Challenge

A virtual race is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose.  You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym or on the track (or even at another race).  Our goal is to raise awareness for Facial Paralysis and TMJ dysfunction, as The Foundation’s mission is to advance the treatment of these two little-understood conditions that are especially difficult to heal.  Contact Maria McFarland at m.mcfarland@foundationforfacialrecovery.org for more information.  Read More

Marriott Foundation Awards Groundbreaking Grant to Foundation for Facial Recovery

Grant Seeds Work Dedicated to Treatment of Facial Palsy and TMJ Dysfunction (download press release)

The Foundation for Facial Recovery, Georgetown University Hospital-Department of ENT, ROSM-Regenerative medicine practice along with Dr. Gerd Fabian Volk-ENT from the University of Jena, (Jena, Germany) held their first international meeting to launch a joint research project evaluating the process of synkineedling, IBBS and other interventions to address Synkinesis in facial palsy patients.

Group photo Picture top left: Carl Chua, P.T., Gincy Stezar, P.T.A, Victor Ibrahim, M.D., Jodi Barth, P.T.
seated: Michael Reilly, M.D and Gerd Fabian Vok, M.D.

The Effect of Facial Palsy on Perceived Attractiveness and Personality

Studies have found facial features to influence the perception of one’s personality. Changes to facial structure have the potential to alter these perceptions, both favorably and unfavorably. Minimal research exists regarding the effects of facial palsy on personality perceptions. The objective of this study is to evaluate and quantify the changes in personality perception that occur with facial nerve paralysis. Personality perception will be captured using the following traits: attractiveness, aggressiveness, extroversion, likeability, trustworthiness, risk seeking, social skills, and naturalness. Quantifying the change in perception of facial nerve paralysis patients to those around them will expose another aspect of this condition that may warrant psychosocial treatment. Contact Johanna Wickemeyer at jlw281@georgetown.edu for more information.

The TMJ-Bell’s Palsy Connection?

We will conduct a retrospective study to determine if there is a relationship between Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and slow-to-recover Bell’s Palsy among pregnant and postpartum patients. Saarah Bokhari at bokharisaarah@gmail.com for more information.

Ultrasound Guided Needle Therapy for Treatment of Synkinesis

Studies have shown that muscle-pump paralysis also reduces venous tone and therefore may raise the hydrostatic pressure within tissue. These can lead to fibrosis of the subcutis and trophic skin changes. Ultrasound guided needle treatment is being studied in its effectiveness to treat fibrosis and synkinesis. Dr. Victor Ibrahim is the lead physician with Saarah Bokhari as Research Assistant. Contact Saarah Bokhari at bokharisaarah@gmail.com for more information.

Standardized Instruction Video to Record Different Facial Expression

Presently, there is no standardized method for recording facial expressions among medical professionals. Establishing standardizations will allow treatment regimens to be evaluated by multi-center providers. This study will be conducted in partnership with Dr. Fabian Volk of the University of Jena. Contact Rebecca Schaede at rebecca.schaede@uni-jena.de or Saarah Bokhari at bokharisaarah@gmail.com for more information.

The Impact of Eyelid Weight Implantation on Time to Recovery and Quality of Recovery, after Acute Idiopathic Facial Palsy

Many patients list the difficultyof closing the eye after the diagnosis of facial palsy as one of their chief complaints. The use of eyelid weights to assist with this closure is a widely acceptable treatment. However, determining when this procedure should be performed to optimize recovery has not been established. Dr. Michael Reilly of Georgetown University is the lead investigator.  Contact Johanna Wickemeyer at jlw281@georgetown.edu for more information.

Evaluation of a New Assessment Tool for Patients with Slow Recovering Facial Palsy

We are currently assessing various evaluation tools to determine the best method to track patients’ recovery. We aim to introduce a tool which addresses the multitude of symptoms associated with facial palsy and plan to standardize the evaluation method of facial palsy. 

  • We are currently conducting a survey to determine which of the current questionnaires best address the symptoms and issues related to facial paralysis.  Please feel free to take this brief survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8CK7GRZ