Clinical features of patients with blepharospasm: A report of 240 patients

E. L. Peckham*, G. Lopez, E. A. Shamim, S. Pirio Richardson, S. Sanku, R. Malkani, M. Stacy, P. Mahant, A. Crawley, A. Singleton, M. Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: To characterize patients with benign essential blepharospasm (BEB) by diagnosis, environmental risk factors, and family history. Methods: Two hundred and forty patients with BEB were evaluated through a clinical examination and questionnaire. The questionnaire reviewed personal medical history, demographic factors, risk factors for the development of blepharospasm and family history of dystonia and other neurological conditions. Results: Benign essential blepharospasm was more commonly found in women (2.8:1) and 93% of the patients were Caucasian. Fifty percent had pure BEB, 31% had BEB/Meige's syndrome, and 4% had BEB and eyelid opening apraxia (+/- Meige's syndrome). A minority of patients reported preceding photophobia (25%) or other eye conditions (22%). The majority were non-smokers, had no exposure to anti-emetic or antipsychotic agents, had a normal birth history, and had no history of head trauma. Seventy-two percent did report a stressful event immediately prior to the development of symptoms. Treatments reported included botulinum toxin (BoNT), oral medications, surgical procedures, and acupuncture. Thirty-two percent of patients reported a family history of focal dystonia, and BEB was the most commonly reported. Conclusion: This study confirms previous reports of usual age, sex, caffeine and tobacco use, and family history in patients with blepharospasm. New findings include a report on occupation, lower reports of preceding eye conditions and photophobia, and higher reported stressful events. Further, this study shows a change in treatment with an increase in BoNT use and decrease in surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-386
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Blepharospasm
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Dystonia
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Peckham, E. L., Lopez, G., Shamim, E. A., Richardson, S. P., Sanku, S., Malkani, R., Stacy, M., Mahant, P., Crawley, A., Singleton, A., & Hallett, M. (2011). Clinical features of patients with blepharospasm: A report of 240 patients. European Journal of Neurology, 18(3), 382-386.