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You are probably visiting this website because you, a family member, or friend has been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy - often called Facial Palsy or Facial Paralysis. The Bell’s Palsy Association - BPA  - is a registered charity and is established to provide help and information to sufferers of this condition. Please browse the site pages or visit our Online Forums for friendly practical advice from past and present sufferers.

Charity Registration No. 1094039 Association

Charles Bell

1774-1842

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Home Page. Support Forums. FAQ. Useful Links. About Us. What Is Bell's Palsy ?. 1774 to 1842 Sir Charles Bell Charles Bell Literature Charles Bell Illustration

Charles Bell was a Scottish surgeon-anatomist who early on published "Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting" for instructing artists and this was based on his anatomic knowledge.He established that the nerves of the special senses could be traced from specific areas of the brain to their end organs.


...... his most notable achievements are his description of the exterior respiratory nerve ("Bell's nerve"), his discovery that lesion of the seventh facial nerve causes facial paralysis ("Bell's palsy"), and his demonstration of the motor function of anterior roots and the sensory function of dorsal roots in spinal nerves (the "Bell-Magendie law").


He clearly demonstrated that spinal nerves carry both sensory and motor functions and that sensory fibers traverse the posterior roots whereas the motor fibers run through the anterior (Bell’s Law).

He also demonstrated that the cranial nerve V was sensory to the face and motor to mastication whereas cranial nerve VII controlled muscles of expression. The eponyms of the respiratory nerve of Bell and Bell’s Palsy perpetuate his name.

Born in Scotland, Charles Bell studied anatomy and medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Bell left Edinburgh for London after he and his brother John were rejected by the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He lived and worked in London for thirty years before returning to Scotland, where he ended his career as professor of surgery at the University of Edinburgh. Bell was an expert surgeon: he served as a surgeon with the British army at the famous Battle of Waterloo in 1815. His fame, however, rests on medical illustration and neurology. His Essays on the anatomy of expression in painting (1806) is a classic of art history.

An Exposition of the Natural System of the Nerves of the Human Body is a collection of Bell's observations on the nerves.

Sir Charles Bell
1774 - 1842

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Registered Charity No. 1094039 Sir Charles Bell

Charles Bell

1774-1842

Bells Palsy Association

BELL'S PALSY ASSOCIATION - Registered Charity No. 1094039

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