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Myoclonus refers to sudden, brief involuntary twitching or jerking of a muscle or group of muscles. The twitching cannot be stopped or controlled by the person experiencing it. Myoclonus is not a disease itself, rather it describes a clinical sign. Myoclonic jerks may occur in the following scenarios:

  • Either alone or in sequence, in a pattern of movement or without pattern
  • Infrequently or many times per minute
  • In response to an external event or when a person attempts to make a movement
  • Myoclonus from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).  New

    Myoclonus (184 KB .pdf)

    • What is myoclonus?
    • Who is more likely to get myoclonus?
    • How is myoclonus diagnosed and treated?
    • What are the latest updates on myoclonus?
    • How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with myoclonus?
    • Where can I find more information about myoclonus?
  • Drug-Induced Myoclonus: Frequency, Mechanisms and Management by Félix Javier Jiménez-Jiménez, Inmaculada Puertas, and María de Toledo-Heras (136 KB .pdf).  New
  • Action Myoclonus–Renal Failure Syndrome. Action myoclonus–renal failure (AMRF) syndrome causes episodes of involuntary muscle jerking or twitching (myoclonus) and, often, kidney (renal) disease. Although the condition name refers to kidney disease, not everyone with the condition has problems with kidney function. When kidney problems occur, an early sign is excess protein in the urine (proteinuria). Kidney function worsens over time, until the kidneys are no longer able to filter fluids and waste products from the body effectively (end-stage renal disease). MedlinePlus is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Myoclonus Causes and Symptoms from the Mayo Clinic.
  • Myoclonus (Muscle Twitch) from the Cleveland Clinic.
  • What is Myoclonus? by WebMD.