Letter: Facial palsy covered comprehensively

Dear Editor

The information provided in your 'How to distinguish in facial palsy' article (GP, 20 January) was accurate and well written. I welcome the appropriate emphasis placed on best evidence about the use of steroids and antivirals in Bell's palsy.

Dr Brown summarised the uncertainty over best treatment. Recent Cochrane reviews on the subject have suggested there may be significant benefit but doubt remains. The Health Technology Assessment Board have commissioned a trial in Scotland of 500 patients which should provide a definitive answer to the question.

I hope that when Scottish GPs read your article, they will refer patients into the study until the summer of 2006.

Professor Frank Sullivan, NHS Tayside, professor of R&D in GP and primary care and development in good practice, University of Dundee.

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