Myoclonus is a quick, jerky, involuntary muscle movement. It occurs as a symptom of certain conditions. For example, hiccups or sleep starts (the sudden jerks which occur before falling asleep) are different forms of myoclonus. Myoclonus is a common phenomenon. However, if these jerky movements occur more frequently or involve several parts of the body, they can affect certain daily activities such as eating, talking or walking.
Myoclonus is of the following types:
Usually, these jerky movements are:
If the symptoms of myoclonus occur more frequently and persist for a long time then consult the doctor. The doctor evaluates the condition thoroughly and provides appropriate treatment.
Myoclonus occurs due to the unusual muscle contractions in response to the abnormal electrical impulses sent to the muscles from the brain. Several underlying conditions can produce myoclonus as a symptom. These include:
The doctor may ask for the patient’s medical history. He may also check for the signs of the condition. Further evaluation includes a physical examination. To exclude other possible causes, the doctor may order for one or more of the following tests:
Myoclonus associated with reversible underlying causes such as a medical condition, toxic substances or medications can be treated easily. However, in most of the cases, the underlying cause can’t be removed and the treatment can only improve the symptoms. Multiple drugs are given to control the symptoms of myoclonus:
If myoclonus is due to conditions such as tumors or lesions in the brain or spinal cord, then the doctor might recommend surgery. Also, surgery is helpful in patients with myoclonus affecting the face and ears. The most common surgical method is deep brain stimulation (DBS). In this method, electrodes are implanted into the brain to produce the necessary impulses.
Additionally, the doctor will recommend certain behavioral changes to reduce the risk of developing certain symptoms. These may include, maintaining a large distance from the video monitors while making sure of the brightness of the backlight. This can benefit people who may have seizures associated with photosensitivity.
Geeta Dutta, a patient from West Bengal got in touch with Dr Venugopal Subramaniam, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Manipal Hospitals Whitefield through the OPD clinic programme and then later was guided by him towards a craniotomy & brain tumour removal.
Manika Saha, a patient from West Bengal got in touch with Dr. Venugopal Subramaniam, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Manipal Hospitals Whitefield through the OPD clinic programme and then later was guided by him towards a brain tumour removal in Whitefield, Bengaluru which gave her vision back.
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