Northwestern Medicine Neurosurgeon Discusses Trigeminal Neuralgia on WGN Morning Show

Northwestern Medicine
News February 27, 2017

On Tuesday, Babak Jahromi, MD, PhD, neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, spoke to WGN Morning News reporter, Pat Tomasulo and his wife Amy, about trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Amy was diagnosed with TN in 2001 and the couple started the “Laugh Your Face Off!” comedy fundraiser together to help raise money for a cure.

Dr. Jahromi, Pat and Amy wanted to raise awareness of TN as part of Rare Disease Day, which takes place on the last day of February each year. Approximately 12 out of 100,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with the disease. TN is a type of chronic nerve pain that affects one side of the face, typically the nose, lips, eyes or ears. The origin of the condition is unknown, but it is often attributed to abnormal blood vessels that compress the nerve.

“We are still not quite sure why this searing pain happens to some and not others,” said Dr. Jahromi who is one of few specialists in Chicago that can help eliminate the pain through surgery. “But the excruciating pain can return years later after surgery and that’s why it’s imperative to bring awareness to this condition so that we can find hope for a cure.” As part of the fundraiser, Northwestern Memorial is one of the leading sponsors of the event with all proceeds going to The Facial Pain Research Foundation to help answer critical questions about the role of genes in TN and other nerve-related facial pains. The “Laugh your Face Off!” comedy lineup includes Mike Toomey, Leon Rogers, Megan Gailey, Dwayne Kennedy, Pat McGann and Pat Tomasulo.

The comedy show will take place April 6 at The Laugh Factory (3175 N. Broadway). For tickets to the comedy show and to learn more about TN, please visit

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