Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.

Causes of Myoclonus

List of causes of Myoclonus

Following is a list of causes or underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Myoclonus) that could possibly cause Myoclonus includes:

More causes:see full list of causes for Myoclonus

Causes of Myoclonus (Diseases Database):

The follow list shows some of the possible medical causes of Myoclonus that are listed by the Diseases Database:

Source: Diseases Database

Myoclonus: Related Medical Conditions

To research the causes of Myoclonus, consider researching the causes of these these diseases that may be similar, or associated with Myoclonus:

Myoclonus: Causes and Types

Causes of Types of Myoclonus: Review the cause informationfor the various types of Myoclonus:

  • Positive myoclonus - sudden muscle contractions
  • Negative myoclonus - sudden muscle relaxations
  • Posthypoxic myoclonus - from hypoxia
  • Action myoclonus
  • Cortical reflex myoclonus - probably a type of epilepsy
  • Essential myoclonus
  • Palatal myoclonus - contractions of the mouth's palate, tongue and related areas.
  • more types...»

Causes of Broader Categories of Myoclonus: Review the causal information about the various more general categories of medical conditions:

Myoclonus as a complication of other conditions:

Other conditions that might have Myoclonus as a complication may, potentially, be an underlying cause of Myoclonus. Our database lists the following as having Myoclonus as a complication of that condition:

Myoclonus as a symptom:

Conditions listing Myoclonus as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Myoclonus. Our database lists the following as having Myoclonus as a symptom of that condition:

Drug interactions causing Myoclonus:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Myoclonus as a symptom.

The list below is incomplete and various other drugs or substances may cause your symptoms. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Venlafaxine and Metoclopramide interaction
  • more interactions...»

What causes Myoclonus?

Article excerpts about the causes of Myoclonus:
Although some cases of myoclonus are caused by an injury to the peripheral nerves (defined as the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, or the central nervous system), most myoclonus is caused by a disturbance of the central nervous system. Studies suggest that several locations in the brain are involved in myoclonus. One such location, for example, is in the brainstem close to structures that are responsible for the startle response, an automatic reaction to an unexpected stimulus involving rapid muscle contraction.

The specific mechanisms underlying myoclonus are not yet fully understood. Scientists believe that some types of stimulus-sensitive myoclonus may involve overexcitability of the parts of the brain that control movement. These parts are interconnected in a series of feedback loops called motor pathways. These pathways facilitate and modulate communication between the brain and muscles. Key elements of this communication are chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which carry messages from one nerve cell, or neuron, to another. Neurotransmitters are released by neurons and attach themselves to receptors on parts of neighboring cells. Some neurotransmitters may make the receiving cell more sensitive, while others tend to make the receiving cell less sensitive. Laboratory studies suggest that an imbalance between these chemicals may underlie myoclonus.

Some researchers speculate that abnormalities or deficiencies in the receptors for certain neurotransmitters may contribute to some forms of myoclonus. Receptors that appear to be related to myoclonus include those for two important inhibitory neurotransmitters: serotonin, which constricts blood vessels and brings on sleep, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps the brain maintain muscle control. Other receptors with links to myoclonus include those for opiates, drugs that induce sleep, and for glycine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is important for the control of motor and sensory functions in the spinal cord. More research is needed to determine how these receptor abnormalities cause or contribute to myoclonus. (Source: excerpt from Myoclonus Fact Sheet: NINDS)

Related information on causes of Myoclonus:

As with all medical conditions, there may be many causal factors. Further relevant information on causes of Myoclonus may be found in:


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise