Myoclonus is a rapid, involuntary muscle jerk. Examples of myoclonus in healthy individuals include the twitching of an arm or leg when someone is falling asleep, hiccups, and a sudden jerk or twitch when someone is startled. Other types of myoclonus may occur as a result of a health condition. When muscle jerks happen frequently or affect more than one area of the body, they can make it challenging to carry out basic activities such as talking, eating, and walking.
Individuals who experience myoclonus describe their symptoms as shakes, jerks, or spasms that are involuntary, sudden, shock-like, and brief. The jerks may vary in intensity and frequency. Myoclonus can be localized to one area or occur over the entire body.
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