Myoclonus is characterized by brief twitches, spasms, or seizures of muscles that last a few seconds, either in an isolated incident, or repeatedly within a short amount of time. A sudden jolt while falling asleep and the hiccups are common forms experienced by most people at some time in their lives. In severe cases, myoclonus can cause irregular movements that affect both sides of the body, which can inhibit one’s ability to eat, talk, or walk. Treatment involves a combination of medication which on their own are minimally effective, but when combined act on different brain pathways and mechanisms.
It is important for frequent myoclonus to be looked into by a medical professional, since it can be an indication of underlying neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, some types of epilepsy or Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, serotonin toxicity, or intracranial hypertension, among many others.
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The Nerve Disorders Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of peripheral nerve disorders clinicians including physicians, nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals.