Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
The trigeminal nerve is the largest nerve in the head. While the exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not known, doctors suspect that it is most often caused by the compression of blood vessels at the root of the trigeminal nerve, which is located close the brain stem.
It is also not entirely clear as to why this compression of veins and arteries can lead to painful attacks, as not everyone with a compressed trigeminal nerve will develop trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal Neuralgia: Other Possible Causes
In some cases, trigeminal neuralgia may be caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve root due to:
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.