Myoclonic seizures

Myoclonic seizures or twitches

Referred to as brief contractions, or relaxations, of a muscle or muscle group, resulting in a sudden, jumpy movement.

Myoclonic seizures are very quick shock-like jerks of a muscle or group of muscles and typically involve the upper extremities without altered level of awareness.

Positive myoclonus is characterized by muscular contraction.

Negative myoclonus characterized by sudden muscular relaxation.

May be the symptom of disease, especially if recurring.

May be insignificant..

Many neurological disorders, including epilepsy, can causing such seizures.

Most people experience these seizures in some form such as hiccups which are a myoclonic seizure of the diaphragm muscle.

Commonly people experience jerks shortly before falling asleep which are myoclonic seizures.

Common symptom of a variety of neurological disorders, including: myoclonic epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), lupus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

May be the result of sleep disorders, infection or drug poisoning.

May be the result of injury to the head or spinal cord or peripheral nervous system.

Brain tumors, stroke, kidney or liver failure and hypoxia can produce such seizures.

Have a bimodal distribution.

Myoclonic seizures vary, as some are more severe than others.

Action myoclonus, which can be the most severe form, is caused by brain damage.

Action myoclonus is characterized by muscular twitching accompanying the intent or attempt to move voluntarily.

Stimulus-sensitive myoclonus refers to a myoclonic seizure triggered by noise, light, or sound.

Can occur during sleep.

May have no triggering event.

Many be limited to certain areas of the body, such as the facial muscles.

May be debilitating, but are usually not life-threatening.

May be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

Infants with myoclonic epilepsies usually have a poor prognosis, while seizures associated with juvenile myoclonus epilepsy (JME) are usually readily controlled with antiepileptic drugs.

JME has a high recurrence rate of approximately 80-90% after discontinuation of anticonvulsants.

Drugs for myoclonic seizures and JME valproic acid, lamotrigine, and topiramate.

Levetiracetam is approved for adjunctive therapy of JME, and zonisamide may be helpful.

Phenytoin and carbamazepine may not only be ineffective in JME , but in certain cases they may exacerbate seizures.

Medications for epilepsy, such as barbiturates and anti-epileptics like primidone, can also be effective.

Sometimes, certain drug combinations are useful, since such seizures can have complex causes.

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