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Brainstem myoclonus and startle syndromes 

Brainstem myoclonus and startle syndromes
Chapter:
Brainstem myoclonus and startle syndromes
Author(s):

Ivan Donaldson

, C. David Marsden

, Susanne A. Schneider

, and Kailash P. Bhatia

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780192619112.003.0829
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date: 07 June 2020

Focal myoclonus arising in the spinal cord and cerebral cortex was described in Chapter 29. The only form of focal myoclonus arising in the brainstem that was referred to was palatal myoclonus (also referred to as palatal tremor). There are, however, entirely different types of myoclonus that arise from the brainstem reticular formation, which take the form of generalized, predominantly axial body jerks. Two types have been identified: 1 Brainstem reticular myoclonus, in which jerks occur spontaneously and can be triggered by external stimuli (brainstem reticular reflex myoclonus).

2 Exaggerated startle syndromes, in which the myoclonus is precipitated by sudden external stimuli such as a noise, a flash of light, or a touch to the body. These are the topics of this chapter.

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