Myoclonus refers to a quick, involuntary muscle jerk. Hiccups are a form of myoclonus, as are the sudden jerks, or "sleep starts," you may feel just before falling asleep. These forms of myoclonus occur in healthy people and rarely present a problem.

Other forms of myoclonus may occur because of a nervous system (neurological) disorder, such as epilepsy, a metabolic condition, or a reaction to a medication.

Ideally, treating the underlying cause will help control your myoclonus symptoms. If the cause of myoclonus is unknown or can't be specifically treated, then treatment focuses on reducing the effects of myoclonus on your quality of life.

Myoclonus care at Mayo Clinic

Dec. 16, 2015
  1. Caviness JN. Treatment of myoclonus. Neurotherapeutics. 2014;11:188.
  2. Mills K, et al. An update and review on the treatment of myoclonus. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Report. 2015;15:512.
  3. Ferri FF. Myoclonus. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  4. Myoclonus fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myoclonus/detail_myoclonus.htm?c. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  5. Caviness JN. Classification and evaluation of myoclonus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  6. Sutter R, et al. Myoclonus in the critically ill: Diagnosis, management, and clinical impact. Clinical Neurophysiology. In press. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  7. Caviness JN. Treatment of myoclonus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 1, 2015.
  8. Riggs, EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 22, 2015.