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Muscle Nerve. 2005 Feb;31(2):157-74.

Electrophysiological studies of myoclonus.

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Human Motor Control Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 5C432A, Bethesda, MD 20892-1428, USA.


As myoclonus is often associated with abnormally increased excitability of cortical structures, electrophysiological studies provide useful information for its diagnosis and classification, and about its generator mechanisms. The electroencephalogram-electromyogram polygraph reveals the most important information about the myoclonus of interest. Jerk-locked back-averaging and evoked potential studies combined with recording of the long-latency, long-loop reflexes are useful to investigate the pathophysiology of myoclonus further, especially that of cortical myoclonus. Recent advances in magnetoencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation have contributed significantly to the understanding of some of the cortical mechanisms underlying myoclonus. Elucidation of physiological mechanisms underlying myoclonus in individual patients is important for selecting the most appropriate treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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