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Myoclonus

Myoclonus /mˈɒklənəs/ or /məˈklnəs/ is a brief, involuntary twitching of a muscle or a group of muscles. It describes a medical sign and, generally, is not a diagnosis of a disease. These myoclonic twitches, jerks, or seizures are usually caused by sudden muscle contractions (positive myoclonus) or brief lapses of contraction (negative myoclonus). The most common circumstance under which they occur is while falling asleep (hypnic jerk), but myoclonic jerks are also a sign of a number of neurological disorders. Hiccups are also a kind of myoclonic jerk specifically affecting the diaphragm. When a spasm is caused by another person it is known as a “provoked spasm”. Shuddering attacks in babies also fall in this category.

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