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Stapedial & Palatal Myoclonus Support


What is Stapedial Myoclonus?
Idiopathic stapedial muscle spasm creates a rough, crackling, rumbling noise in the ear. External sounds, such as music tones, water faucets, and voices, are known to accentuate the spasms. Physical examination reveals a normal tympanic membrane with rhythmic contractions synchronous with the noise.

Symptoms are worsened by stress. Frequently a history of muscle spasm with occipital headaches or temporomandibular joint pain can be obtained. The diagnosis can be made on physical examination by listening for the noise with a Toynbee tube or viewing myoclonic jerks in the palate. Tympanometry can occasionally record movement synchronous with the palatal contractions. Rarely, electromyography of the palate is indicated to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Treatment of palatomyoclonus is medical. Antispasmodic agents and muscle relaxants, such as clonazepam or diazepam, are the mainstay of treatment. Neurologic consultation is useful for long-term management of these patients.


What types of Stapedial Myoclonus do I suffer from?
Stimulus-sensitive myoclonus is triggered by a variety of external events, including noise, movement, and light. Surprise may increase the sensitivity of the patient.

Sleep myoclonus occurs during the initial phases of sleep, especially at the moment of dropping off to sleep. Some forms appear to be stimulus-sensitive. Some persons with sleep myoclonus are rarely troubled by, or need treatment for, the condition. However, myoclonus may be a symptom in more complex and disturbing sleep disorders

What Is Myoclonus?

Myoclonus describes a symptom and generally is not a diagnosis of a disease.  It refers to sudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle or group of muscles.  Myoclonic twitches or jerks usually are caused by sudden muscle contractions, called positive myoclonus, or by muscle relaxation, called negative myoclonus.  Myoclonic jerks may occur alone or in sequence, in a pattern or without pattern.  They may occur infrequently or many times each minute. Myoclonus sometimes occurs in response to an external event or when a person attempts to make a movement. The twitching cannot be controlled by the person experiencing it.

In its simplest form, myoclonus consists of a muscle twitch followed by relaxation. A hiccup is an example of this type of myoclonus. Other familiar examples of myoclonus are the jerks or "sleep starts" that some people experience while drifting off to sleep. These simple forms of myoclonus occur in normal, healthy persons and cause no difficulties. More severe cases of myoclonus can distort movement and severely limit a person's ability to eat, talk, or walk. These types of myoclonus may indicate an underlying disorder in the brain or nerves.

What are the causes of Myoclonus?

Myoclonus may develop in response to infection, head or spinal cord injury, stroke, brain tumors, kidney or liver failure, lipid storage disease, chemical or drug poisoning, or other disorders. Prolonged oxygen deprivation to the brain, called hypoxia, may result in posthypoxic myoclonus. Myoclonus can occur by itself, but most often it is one of several symptoms associated with a wide variety of nervous system disorders. For example, myoclonic jerking may develop in patients with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Myoclonic jerks commonly occur in persons with epilepsy, a disorder in which the electrical activity in the brain becomes disordered leading to seizures.


What does Stapedial mean?

The stapedius muscle is the smallest of the skeletal muscles. It lies in a sulcus in the wall of the tympanic cavity. It is a mixture of striated and non-striated fibers that converge into a tendon. This tendon attaches the muscle to the head and/or the posterior leg of the stapes. The muscle is innervated by the facial nerve that lies directly behind the sulcus. The contraction of the muscle draws the anterior border of the footplate laterally and the posterior border medially. This fixes the footplate in place and dampens the response.



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Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used as a substitution for proper medical treatment. I also am not a physician, or a member of the medical community.