ABSTRACT: Myoclonus creates significant disability for patients. This symptom or sign can have many different etiologies, presentations, and pathophysiological mechanisms. A thorough evaluation for the myoclonus etiology is critical for developing a treatment strategy. The best etiological classification scheme is a modified version from that proposed by Marsden et al. in 1982. Clinical neurophysiology, as assessed by electromyography and electroencephalography, can be used to classify the pathophysiology of the myoclonus using a neurophysiology classification scheme. If the etiology of the myoclonus cannot be reversed or treated, then symptomatic treatment of the myoclonus itself may be warranted. Unfortunately, there are few controlled studies for myoclonus treatments. The treatment strategy for the myoclonus is best derived from the neurophysiology classification scheme categories: 1) cortical, 2) cortical-subcortical, 3) subcortical-nonsegmental, 4) segmental, and 5) peripheral. A cortical physiology classification is most common. Levetiracetam is suggested as first-line treatment for cortical myoclonus, but valproic acid and clonazepam are commonly used. Cortical-subcortical myoclonus is the physiology demonstrated by myoclonic seizures, such as in primary epileptic myoclonus (e.g., juvenile myoclonic epilepsy). Valproic acid has demonstrated efficacy in such epileptic syndromes with other medications providing an adjunctive role. Clonazepam is used for subcortical-nonsegmental myoclonus, but other treatments, depending on the syndrome, have been used for this physiological type of myoclonus. Segmental myoclonus is difficult to treat, but clonazepam and botulinum toxin are used. Botulinum toxin is used for focal examples of peripheral myoclonus. Myoclonus treatment is commonly not effective and/or limited by side effects.
Project description:Myoclonus can cause significant disability for patients. Myoclonus has a strikingly diverse array of underlying etiologies, clinical presentations, and pathophysiological mechanisms. Treatment of myoclonus is vital to improving the quality of life of patients with these disorders. The optimal treatment strategy for myoclonus is best determined based upon careful evaluation and consideration of the underlying etiology and neurophysiological classification. Electrophysiological testing including EEG (electroencephalogram) and EMG (electromyogram) data is helpful in determining the neurophysiological classification of myoclonus. The neurophysiological subtypes of myoclonus include cortical, cortical-subcortical, subcortical-nonsegmental, segmental, and peripheral. Levetiracetam, valproic acid, and clonazepam are often used to treat cortical myoclonus. In cortical-subcortical myoclonus, treatment of myoclonic seizures is prioritized, valproic acid being the mainstay of therapy. Subcortical-nonsegmental myoclonus may be treated with clonazepam, though numerous agents have been used depending on the etiology. Segmental and peripheral myoclonus are often resistant to treatment, but anticonvulsants and botulinum toxin injections may be of utility depending upon the case. Pharmacological treatments are often hampered by scarce evidence-based knowledge, adverse effects, and variable efficacy of medications.
Project description:Posthypoxic myoclonus (PHM) in the first few days after resuscitation can be divided clinically into generalized and focal (uni- and multifocal) subtypes. The former is associated with a subcortical origin and poor prognosis in patients with postanoxic encephalopathy (PAE), and the latter with a cortical origin and better prognosis. However, use of PHM as prognosticator in PAE is hampered by the modest objectivity in its clinical assessment. Therefore, we aimed to obtain the anatomical origin of PHM with use of neurophysiological investigations, and relate these to its clinical presentation.This study included 20 patients (56 ± 18 y/o, 68% M, 2 survived, 1 excluded) with EEG-EMG-video recording. Three neurologists classified PHM into generalized or focal PHM. Anatomical origin (cortical/subcortical) was assessed with basic and advanced neurophysiology (Jerk-Locked Back Averaging, coherence analysis).Clinically assessed origin of PHM did not match the result obtained with neurophysiology: cortical PHM was more likely present in generalized than in focal PHM. In addition, some cases demonstrated co-occurrence of cortical and subcortical myoclonus. Patients that recovered from PAE had cortical myoclonus (1 generalized, 1 focal).Hypoxic damage to variable cortical and subcortical areas in the brain may lead to mixed and varying clinical manifestations of myoclonus that differ of those patients with myoclonus generally encountered in the outpatient clinic. The current clinical classification of PHM is not adequately refined to play a pivotal role in guiding treatment decisions to withdraw care. Our neurophysiological characterization of PHM provides specific parameters to be used in designing future comprehensive studies addressing the potential role of PHM as prognosticator in PAE.
Project description:Background:Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a disease of childhood and adolescence, but can affect adults. Rapidly progressive cognitive decline, seizures including myoclonic jerks, spasticity, ataxia, visual disturbances, and incontinence are typical manifestations. Case report:A 62-year-old woman who presented with rapidly progressive dementia and myoclonus was diagnosed with SSPE. There was resolution of the movement disorder with clonazepam and valproic acid treatment and some amelioration of cognitive decline after 3 months of therapy with interferon alfa and isoprinosine. Discussion:With the recent rise in measles cases worldwide, any increased incidence of SSPE would require vigilance for early interventions.
Project description:Background:Autosomal dominant familial cortical myoclonic tremor and epilepsy (FCMTE) is characterized by distal tremulous myoclonus, generalized seizures, and signs of cortical reflex myoclonus. FCMTE has been described in over 100 pedigrees worldwide, under several different names and acronyms. Pathological changes have been located in the cerebellum. This systematic review discusses the clinical spectrum, treatment, pathophysiology, and genetic findings. Methods:We carried out a PubMed search, using a combination of the following search terms: cortical tremor, myoclonus, epilepsy, benign course, adult onset, familial, and autosomal dominant; this resulted in a total of 77 studies (761 patients; 126 pedigrees) fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results:Phenotypic differences across pedigrees exist, possibly related to underlying genetic differences. A "benign" phenotype has been described in several Japanese families and pedigrees linked to 8q (FCMTE1). French patients (5p linkage; FCMTE3) exhibit more severe progression, and in Japanese/Chinese pedigrees (with unknown linkage) anticipation has been suggested. Preferred treatment is with valproate (mind teratogenicity), levetiracetam, and/or clonazepam. Several genes have been identified, which differ in potential pathogenicity. Discussion:Based on the core features (above), the syndrome can be considered a distinct clinical entity. Clinical features may also include proximal myoclonus and mild progression with aging. Valproate or levetiracetam, with or without clonazepam, reduces symptoms. FCMTE is a heterogeneous disorder, and likely to include a variety of different conditions with mutations of different genes. Distinct phenotypic traits might reflect different genetic mutations. Genes involved in Purkinje cell outgrowth or those encoding for ion channels or neurotransmitters seem good candidate genes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Chorea in Huntington's Disease (HD) is usually treated with antidopaminergic neuroleptics like haloperidol, olanzapine and tiaprid or dopamine depleting drugs like tetrabenazine. Some patients with hyperkinesia, however, react to treatment with antidopaminergic drugs by developing extrapyramidal side effects. In earlier studies valproic acid showed no beneficial effect on involuntary choreatic movements. Myoclonus is rare in HD and is often overseen or misdiagnosed as chorea.<h4>Methods</h4>In this report, we present eight patients whose main symptom is myoclonic hyperkinesia. All patients were treated with valproic acid and scored by using the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) motor score before and after treatment. In addition to this, two patients agreed to be videotaped.<h4>Results</h4>In seven patients myoclonus and, therefore the UHDRS motor score improved in a dose dependent manner. In three of these patients antidopaminergic medication could be reduced.<h4>Conclusion</h4>In the rare subgroup of HD patients suffering from myoclonic hyperkinesia, valproic acid is a possible alternative treatment.
Project description:Post-hypoxic myoclonus (PHM) is a syndrome that occurs when a patient has suffered hypoxic brain injury. The myoclonus is usually multifocal and generalized, often stemming from both cortical and subcortical origins. In severe cases, pharmacological treatments with antiepileptic medications may not satisfactorily control the myoclonus.We present a case of a 23-year-old male with chronic medication refractory PHM following a cardiopulmonary arrest related to an asthmatic attack who improved with bilateral globus pallidus internus (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS). We review the clinical features of PHM, as well as the preoperative and postoperative Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale scores and DBS programming parameters in this patient and compare them with the three other published PHM-DBS cases in the literature.This patient experienced an alleviation of myoclonic jerks at rest and a 39% reduction in action myoclonus with improvement in both positive and negative myoclonus with bilateral GPi-DBS. High frequency stimulation (130 Hz) with amplitudes >2.5 V were needed for the therapeutic response.We demonstrate a robust improvement in a medication refractory PHM patient with bilateral GPi-DBS, and suggest that it is a viable therapeutic option for debilitating post-hypoxic myoclonus.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:We tested the hypothesis that there are readily classifiable electroencephalographic (EEG) phenotypes of early postanoxic multifocal myoclonus (PAMM) that develop after cardiac arrest. METHODS:We studied a cohort of consecutive comatose patients treated after cardiac arrest from January 2012 to February 2015. For patients with clinically evident myoclonus before awakening, 2 expert physicians reviewed and classified all EEG recordings. Major categories included: Pattern 1, suppression-burst background with high-amplitude polyspikes in lockstep with myoclonic jerks; and Pattern 2, continuous background with narrow, vertex spike-wave discharges in lockstep with myoclonic jerks. Other patterns were subcortical myoclonus and unclassifiable. We compared population characteristics and outcomes across these EEG subtypes. RESULTS:Overall, 401 patients were included, of whom 69 (16%) had early myoclonus. Among these patients, Pattern 1 was the most common, occurring in 48 patients (74%), whereas Pattern 2 occurred in 8 patients (12%). The remaining patients had subcortical myoclonus (n = 2, 3%) or other patterns (n = 7, 11%). No patients with Pattern 1, subcortical myoclonus, or other patterns survived with favorable outcome. By contrast, 4 of 8 patients (50%) with Pattern 2 on EEG survived, and 4 of 4 (100%) survivors had favorable outcomes despite remaining comatose for 1 to 2 weeks postarrest. INTERPRETATION:Early PAMM is common after cardiac arrest. We describe 2 distinct patterns with distinct prognostic significances. For patients with Pattern 1 EEGs, it may be appropriate to abandon our current clinical standard of aggressive therapy with conventional antiepileptic therapy in favor of early limitation of care or novel neuroprotective strategies. Ann Neurol 2016;80:175-184.
Project description:<h4>Abstract</h4>A 9-year-old boy with primary myoclonus dystonia with comorbid severe attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) also had sleep onset and maintenance insomnia. Polysomnography showed features of non-rapid eye movement parasomnia. Daily bedtime clonidine helped sleep and hyperactivity. ADHD symptoms improved with 40 mg daily lisdexamphetamine mesylate. As the myoclonus and dystonia symptoms progressed, clonazepam was initiated at a dose of 0.5 mg daily at bedtime. It was anticipated that clonazepam would also improve parasomnia. Concomitant with the initiation of clonazepam, he developed a sleep-related eating disorder (SRED) continuing almost throughout the night. The symptoms went away upon stopping clonazepam. This is the first description of clonazepam producing SRED though it is the treatment of choice for this disorder.
Project description:Background:Epilepsia partialis continua (EPC) is defined as continuous myoclonic jerking of a body part of cortical origin and often resembles a movement disorder. Unfortunately, anti-epileptic therapy is frequently ineffective. Currently, the effect of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) therapy in EPC is controversial. Methods:We analyzed case histories, treatment protocols, and video documentation of 5 patients with EPC, who received BoNT therapy in our movement disorders unit. The Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale was used to document treatment effects. Results:In all patients, BoNT treatment significantly reduced severity and frequency of myoclonus and led to pronounced improvement of speech and arm utilization, regardless of etiology or duration of EPC. Conclusion:BoNT represents a safe, effective treatment in EPC, offering long-term abatement of myoclonus. The substantial functional profit may hint at mechanisms beyond local impairment of neuromuscular transmission, such as modulation of maladaptive cortical plasticity, as observed in dystonia and poststroke spasticity.