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Myoclonus 

Myoclonus
Chapter:
Myoclonus
Source:
Video Protocols and Techniques for Movement Disorders
Author(s):

Brandon R. Barton MD, MS

and Deborah A. Hall MD, PhD

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199948512.003.0016

Myoclonus is defined as a sudden, brief, “shocklike,” involuntary movement. It has a broad differential diagnosis. It can be further divided into positive myoclonus, which is active contraction of the muscle, and negative myoclonus or asterixis, defined as sudden loss of tone in the muscle. It must be distinguished from other hyperkinetic movements such as tics, chorea, tremor, and dystonia, which can all also have fast, jerky movements. The goal of videotaping is to capture the myoclonus in all the possible positions of occurrence and localize them to particular body regions. This is done by first observing at rest, then providing multiple types of stimulus including startle, touch, reflex elicitation, and finally provocation of myoclonus by voluntary activation of each body region.

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