To investigate the association between somatosensory blink reflex (SBR) and peripheral facial palsy (PFP) severity and trigeminal blink reflex (BR) changes in cases with PFP and subsequent postparalytic facial syndrome development (PFS). One hundred and twenty subjects with peripheral facial palsy and post-facial syndrome and 44 age and gender matched healthy volunteers were enrolled to this study. Blink reflexes and somatosensory blink reflex were studied in all. The association between R1 and R2 responses of the BR and SBR positivity was investigated. SBR was elicited in 36.3% of normal subjects, in 18.3% of PFP and in 65.3% of PFS patients. In the paralytic side, the frequency of SBR positivity was significantly lower in PFP group compared to controls and SBR was most frequently observed in patients with PFS. Compared to PFP and control groups, SBR positivity on the non-paralytic side significantly revealed a higher rate in PFS patients. SBR positivity of patients in whom R1 or R2 were absent, was significantly lower than those subjects with prolonged or normal R1 or R2 responses. PFP and successive PFS are good models for the sensory motor gate mechanisms and/or excitability enhancement of brainstem neurons responsible for SBR. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.