How Do I Know If I Have Myoclonus?

Myoclonus indicates a quick and an involuntary type of muscle jerk.1 In most of the cases, it takes as hiccups but in other cases, it also involves feelings of sleep starts and sudden jerks just before you fall asleep. These types of myoclonus take place in health individuals and rarely cause any problem. However, myoclonus may take place in other forms due to neurological or nervous system disorder, like epilepsy i.e. a metabolic condition or in the form of side effects because of a medication.

In most of the cases, treatment of the underlying cause is helpful in controlling your symptoms related to the problem of myoclonus. However, if doctors do not know the exact cause of myoclonus or fail to treat it specifically, treatment focuses to reduce the adverse effects of myoclonus on the quality of an individual’s life.

How Do I Know If I Have Myoclonus?

One can know or identify the problem of myoclonus based on symptoms followed by diagnose procedures recommended by doctors.

People suffering for myoclonus disorder often experience the following signs and symptoms related to spasms, shakes and jerks, which are sudden, involuntary, brief, shock-like, localized to a specific body part or spreads to different parts of the body and variable in frequency and intensity.2 However, in some cases, jerks and shakes reach to such extent that they interfere with walking, speaking and eating habits.

With the aim to diagnose your myoclonus problem, your doctor reviews your medical history and various symptoms, while conduct your physical examination. Later on, your doctor will recommend for any or combination of the following tests to determine the exact cause of myoclonus and to rule out various other potential causes related to your condition.

EEG i.e. Electro Encephalography: The procedure of EEG i.e. Electro Encephalography is responsible to record the electrical activity goes on in the brain and to determine the origination of your myoclonus in your brain. Accordingly, doctors will attach small electrodes to the scalp of patients. On the other side, patients have to take deep breath and look at bright lights steadily or enjoy music, as those actions uncover any abnormal electrical activity.

MRI i.e. Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI i.e. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan intends to check the tumors or structural problems in the brain and/or spinal cord responsible to cause the problem of myoclonus and its related symptoms. MRI scan technique uses radio waves and magnetic field to produce detailed images of the spinal cord, brain and other body areas.

EMG i.e. Electromyography: According to EMG i.e. Electromyography procedure, doctors put ENG surface-based electrodes on different muscles, especially the ones involved in any type of jerk activity. On doing this, the instrument notes the electrical activity from any of your body muscle at rest and at the time when you contract your body muscles, like for instance bend your arm. The signals thus obtained help in determining both the origin and pattern of your myoclonus problem.

Lab Tests: Your doctor may recommend for a suitable genetic testing to identify the probable causes of your myoclonus problem. In addition, a patient has to undergo urine and/or blood test to know about-

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Toxins and/or drugs

References:  

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