Clinical Neuroscience

Burning mouth syndrome: Evaluation of clinical and laboratory findings

HALAC Gulistan1, TEKTURK Pinar2, EROGLU Saliha3, CIKRIKCIOGLU Ali Mehmet4, CIMENDUR Ozlem5, KILIC Elif6, ASIL Talip1

JULY 30, 2016

Clinical Neuroscience - 2016;69(07-08)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.69.0269

Background and purpose - Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic and persistent painful condition characterized by burning sensation in the oral mucosa. We investigated the etiological factors of patients presented with the history of burning in the mouth who admitted our outpatient clinics over the 8-years period and who had no underlying identifiable local factors. We also tried to determine their demographic and clinical characteristics. Our aim was to investigate the association between burning mouth and psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus (DM) and other laboratory studies in patients complaining of solely burning in the mouth. Methods - The study included patients with the history of burning in mouth who presented in our outpatient clinic between 2005 and 2012. They were evaluated by a neurologist, a psychiatrist, an internist, and a dentist. Complete blood counts, biochemical analysis and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed for all patients. Results - A total of 26 (22 (84%) females, 4 (15%) males; mean age 55.9 years) patients were enrolled in this study. Five (19.2%) of the patients had depression, 2 (7.7%) had anxiety disorder, 2 (7.7%) had diabetes mellitus, 8 (30%) had B12 vitamin deficiency, 3 (11.5%) had decreased ferritin levels in blood, and 1 (3.8%) had folic acid deficiency. Cranial MRI of all patients were normal. Nine patients (34.6%) had no etiological causes. Conclusion - A multidisciplinary approach in the management of burning mouth and establishment of common criteria for the diagnosis would provide insight into the underlying pathophysiological mechanism.

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Bezmialem Vakıf University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Istanbul, Turkey
  2. Istanbul University, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Department of Neurology, Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Bezmialem Vakıf University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Istanbul, Turkey
  4. Bezmialem Vakıf University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
  5. Bezmialem Vakıf University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Prosthodontics, Istanbul, Turkey
  6. Bezmialem Vakıf University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of, Deparment Of Medical Biochemistry, Istanbul, Turkey

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GABAB receptor (gamma-aminobutyric acid type B receptors - GABABR) encephalitis is a rare manifestation of autoimmune encephalitides. We report four cases - including the first two Hungarian patients - with some peculiar features. One patient developed subacute disorientation and almost complete loss of short-term memory, but no epilepsy. Without immunotherapy, his memory spontaneously improved up to mild cognitive impairment in six weeks. GABABR antibodies persisted in his serum, and 18 months later, FDG-PET detected abnormal mediastinal lymph nodes and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Another patient had persistently decreased sodium content in the peripheral blood. In those three patients who died, CSF was abnormal, but CSF was not pathological in the patient, who spontaneously improved. Brain MRI indicated signal intensity changes in the medial temporal areas in three cases. SCLC was found in three patients. Only the patient, who spontaneously improved, survived for more than 24 months. In summary, our cases show that (i) GABABR encephalitis may develop without epilepsy; (ii) the severe short-term memory loss can spontaneously improve; (iii) persistent hyponatremia can be present in the blood; (iv) the patient with benign course without epilepsy and CSF abnormality survived; (v) spontaneously remitting encephalitis can precede SCLC by 1.5 year, which emphasizes that repeated search for cancer is of paramount importance even in cases with spontaneous improvement.

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