Abnormal Facial Expressions: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Abnormal facial expressions can occur as a result of conditions that damage the nerves to the face, such as Bell's palsy or facial paralysis. Damage to the brain, such as with stroke or transient ischemic attack, can also cause impaired movement, including changes in facial expressions. Patients with a number of psychiatric conditions may display abnormal facial expressions, particularly the psychotic disorders, in which an individual's sense of reality is impaired. Facial tics, such as those that occur in Tourette syndrome, are one form of abnormal facial expressions.

Other causes of abnormal facial expressions

  • Blepharospasm
  • Brain Trauma
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Hemifacial Spasm
  • Meige Syndrome
  • Myoclonus
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
  • Nonconvulsive Status Epilepticus
  • Oromandibular Dystonia
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Tardive Dyskinesia
  • Wilson Disease


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.