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Neurosci Res. 2012 Oct;74(2):69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2012.07.004. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Brain regions and genes affecting myoclonus in animals.

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  • 1Université de Rouen, UFR des Sciences Humaines et Sociales, Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurosciences: Intégration COgnitive du NEurone à la Société (ICONES), 76821 Mont Saint-Aignan Cedex, France.


Myoclonus is defined as large-amplitude rhythmic movements. Brain regions underlying myoclonic jerks include brainstem, cerebellum, and cortex. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) appears to be the main neurotransmitter involved in myoclonus, possibly interacting with biogenic amines, opiates, acetylcholine, and glycine. Myoclonic jumping is a specific subtype seen in rodents, comprising rearing and hopping continuously against a wall. Myoclonic jumping can be seen in normal mouse strains, possibly as a result of simply being put inside a cage. Like other types, it is also triggered by changes in GABA, 5HT, and dopamine neurotransmission. Implicated brain regions include hippocampus and dorsal striatum, possibly with respect to D(1) dopamine, NMDA, and δ opioid receptors. There is reason to suspect that myoclonic jumping is underreported due to insufficient observations into mouse cages.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

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