Symptoms can vary from person to person. Movements are often described as jerking, twitching, or spasm that:
Range from mild to severe
Occur every once in a while or often
Affect one area of the body or the entire body
Occur at rest or during other movements
Mild forms may be a twitch followed by release. Hiccups are one example of mild myoclonus. Moderate forms may cause shock-like spasm in muscle groups. Severe forms can then make it hard to eat, speak, or walk.
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Myoclonus is a symptom not a disease. The doctor can identify it with your description and an exam.
Tests may be done to look for a cause. Tests that may be done include:
Dalmau J, Rosenfeld MR. Paraneoplastic syndromes of the CNS. Lancet Neurology. 2008;7:327-340.
Eberhardt O, Topka H. Myoclonic disorders. Brain Sci. 2017;7(8):E103.
Michaeil-Demo Y, Gavvala JR, Bellinski IL, et al. Clinical classification of post anoxic myoclonic status. Resuscitation. 2017;119:76-80.
Myoclonus and its disorders. Neurologic Clinics. August 2001.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 7/25/2018
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