Myoclonus: what is it, why do these spasms arise and how are they treated?

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Myoclonus are brief, rapid, involuntary and sudden movements, similar to a shock, which consists of simple or repetitive muscular discharges. In general, myoclonus is physiological and is not a cause for concern. However, some situations that cause disorders in the central nervous system, such as epilepsy, the presence of metabolic problems or a reaction to the ingestion of certain medications can cause myoclonus. Learn more about the symptoms of epilepsy.

They are hypothesized to be a form of myoclonus, as are the sudden movements that occur when the person is falling asleep. These forms of myoclonus occur in healthy people and sometimes constitute a problem. The treatment generally consists of treating the cause or the illness that it originates, however, in some cases it is not possible to resolve the cause and the treatment consists of relieving the symptoms.

What are the symptoms

In general, people with myoclonus describe a type of sudden, brief and involuntary muscle spasm, similar to a shock and that can vary both in intensity and frequency, and can occur in one or several parts of the body. In very serious cases, myoclonus could interfere with eating, talking or walking.

Possible Causes

Myoclonus can be caused by different problems and can be classified into different types according to the cause:

1. Physiological myoclonus

This type of myoclonus occurs in normal and healthy people and sometimes requires treatment, as is the case of:

  • hypo;
  • Spasms during the beginning of the sweat, also called nocturnal myoclonus;
  • Temblores or spasms due to anxiety or physical activity;
  • Infantile spasms during sleep or after feeding.

2. Idiopathic myoclonus

In idiopathic myoclonus, the myoclonic movement appears spontaneously, without being associated with other symptoms or illnesses, being able to interfere in the daily activities of the persons. Its cause is unknown, however, it has been associated with hereditary factors.

3. Epileptic myoclonus

This type of myoclonus arises due to an epileptic disorder, where convulsions occur that cause rapid movements in both arms and legs. Learn more about the symptoms of epilepsy.

4. Secondary myoclonus

Also known as symptomatic myoclonus, it usually occurs as a result of another illness or medical condition, such as head or spinal cord injury, infection, kidney or liver failure, Gaucher disease, poisoning, prolonged oxygen deprivation, drug reaction, autoimmune and metabolic diseases.

In addition, there are other conditions related to the central nervous system that can also cause secondary myoclonus, such as the case of stroke, brain tumor, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, corticobasal degeneration and frontotemporal dementia.

What are the myoclonias of the sueño

The myoclonia of the sweat, also called myoclonia nocturna or muscle spasms, is a disorder that occurs during the sweaty when the person has the sensation that the balance is falling, which normally happens when you are falling asleep and your arms and legs move involuntarily, as if they were muscle spasms.

However, it is not known what is the cause that gives rise to these movements, however, it is believed that it consists of a kind of cerebral conflict, in which the system that maintains the person awake interferes with the system that induces him, this can It occurs because during your time when you start to dream, the motor system externalizes some control over your body, even when your muscles start to relax.

How is the treatment performed?

There are many cases in which treatment is not necessary, however, when this is justified, it usually consists of treating the cause or the illness that causes it, however, in some cases it is not possible to resolve the cause and only alleviate the symptoms. The medicines and techniques used are the following:

1. Medicines

In case the medication is necessary to be prescribed by the doctor, it is clonazepam, which helps to combat the symptoms of myoclonia, however, it can cause side effects such as loss of coordination and somnolence.

Furthermore, in case of epileptic myoclonus, the neurologist prescribes the use of anticonvulsants to reduce the symptoms of myoclonus. The most used anticonvulsants in these cases are levetiracetam, valproic acid and primidone. The most common secondary effects of levetiracetam are tiredness and seas; of valproic acid for nausea and; in the case of primidone, it can cause sedation and nausea.

2. Therapies

Botox injections can help treat different forms of myoclonus, especially when only part of the body is affected. Botulinum toxin blocks the release of a chemical messenger that causes muscle contraction.

3. Surgery

If the myoclonic symptoms are caused by a tumor, a brain or spinal cord injury, the doctor could suggest performing a surgery.

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Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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