Epilepsy Institute of NC info@eiofnc.org 336-659-8202


Myoclonic seizures are opposite of atonic seizures.  In atonic seizures the muscles go limp.  In myoclonic seizures the muscles tighten up and jerk.  There is an increase in muscle tone,  “myo” means muscle and “clonic” means jerk.  These two seizures originate in the same area of the brain close to one another, which is the brainstem.  The brainstem controls muscle tone.  These patients with Myoclonic seizures are able to stay alert.

There are different types of Myoclonic Seizures:

  • Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy: The seizures usually involve the neck, shoulders, and upper arms. In many patients the seizures most often occur soon after waking up. They usually begin around puberty or sometimes in early adulthood in people with a normal range of intelligence. In most cases, these seizures can be well controlled with medication but it must be continued throughout life.
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: This is an uncommon syndrome that usually includes other types of seizures as well. It begins in early childhood. The myoclonic seizures usually involve the neck, shoulders, upper arms, and often the face. They may be quite strong and are difficult to control.
  • Progressive myoclonic epilepsy: The rare syndromes in this category feature a combination of myoclonic seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. Treatment is usually not successful for very long, as the patient deteriorates over time.                                                                                  Thank you Epilepsy Foundation for the information. http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/myoclonic-seizures

These seizures usually start during childhood but can happen at any age.  These seizures are usually not recognized by other people because they don’t last long and can look like tremors.  Myoclonic seizures are hard to diagnose.  Patient’s history and an EEG is usually the first step. Medication is the treatment used today.  There is several to choose and Myoclonic seizures are easily treatable.

Thank you http://ehealthwall.com/juvenile-myoclonic-epilepsy/ for the image.


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