Myoclonus

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
Perhaps not everyone's dementia sufferer displays this symptom, but thought I'd post it here for those that have seen it and are concerned by it. Dad is the only dementia sufferer I have seen that does it, but then I don't sit for an hour or more with other people.

Myoclonus is the medical term for what Dad does and what your loved one may do, where their body suddenly gives one quick jerk, similar to what 'normal' people do when they are fallling asleep, except the dementia sufferer can do it any time of day.

If your loved one is like Dad then this only occurs on a basis that is not too disruptive. It can occur more frequently though and cause problems with balance and grasping and eyesight....

See :

http://www.myoclonus.com/

for more information.

Be aware that is also the name for a disease, this does not mean that if your loved one does it that they have this disease too, it can be just a symptom of brain disorders in general.
 
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katieberesford

Registered User
May 5, 2005
114
south wales
Hi Nat

I am quite shocked by this thread. David has started jerking/shock like jumps really. It has come on over the last year really. I am terrified when he picks up a mug or cup to drink has his arms can suddenly jerk and he spills it. His legs also jerk, quite strongly sometimes when he is resting. I have not told anyone about this before! When it happens David always says "what happened".

I didn't realise this could be connected to his AD.

Nat, Bruce is it this sort of thing you mean?

Oh, and now something else to cope with.

Regards to you all

Katiex
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Glad someone is talking about this. This is happening all the time with Lionel.
Apart from coffee, wine etc being spilled during the day I find it worse at night. This is the cause of Lionel falling out of bed - he is not really falling but the jerking is so bad he literally jumps out.

Have mentioned this to consultant & CPN, no one seems concerned, but at least we are not alone. Regards, Connie
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Katie

Oh, and now something else to cope with.
No, not something else to cope with... you already knew about it - you just didn't have a name for it.

Same for me, with Jan.

For her it is occasional, almost like a spasm.

She once spilled tea over a chair at home - probably due to that as it was in her last months there.

Also, she did fall out of bed one night, biting clean through her lower lip. Might have been that causing the fall.

It sometimes seems like all the horrible things all get lumped on our loved ones. We know that is not so and we hope that other bad things don't come along, but it just seems endless, doesn't it?

No-one deserves this. :(
 

McK

Registered User
Sep 13, 2005
62
Pgh. Pa. USA
Seizures

Dear Nat - My wife has also had myoclonic seizures for the past four years. A sudden excessive jerking of the body lasting 1 or 2 seconds. Sometimes they occur in clusters and other times at different intervals, but daily. Just another part of this dreadful disease. (Might want to look up Atonic Seizure). Best Wishs- McK
 

Finnian

Registered User
Sep 26, 2005
60
U.K.
My hubby has had this symptom for some years now. I've replaced all my crockery with melamine picnic ware as that doesn't break so easily. We never fill his cup so he is less likely to spill hot drinks on himself. He used to be an excellent cook but it became dangerous before he lost the knowledge of how to cook a meal.
Our dog has proved he can be rather smart at times. He will normally catch any dropped food in mid air and it is gone before you realise but he will gently give tablets straight back. I don't know whether he is clued into hubby counting out all his tablets before he takes them or whether he picks up a smell that tells him its not food but he never swallows them (thank goodness).

My GP has likened these spasms to a misfire in the brain engine which makes it cough along a nerve. Not a particularly scientific explanation but it makes sense.

He has never fallen out of bed with them but he has kicked me out of bed (literally) and at the time he claimed he couldn't help it !!!!

Finnian
 

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
A-ha so we weren't the only ones wondering about this phenomenon all these years!

Dad's is nowhere near as severe as the jerks obviously some of you are coping with, but we always wondered what it was, I guess because it was like just another insult to him, he could look quite normal and others wouldn't know anything was wrong with him(long past that now) and then this damn jerking would take away any pretences. :(

I originally caught onto the fact that it was an explainable part of the dementia experience when I saw a TV show (House: Doctors, night time drama) have a patient on it, and the doctor didn't think anything was wrong with him until he was just about to walk away and the patient had a 'jerk'...the simple explanation on the show was this was a sign that the brain was trying to wake the person up because for some reason it thought the person was going to sleep, sign of some kind of neural disorder.

Sometimes its nice to have a scientific reason rather than just wondering if these things are all related.
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Finnian said:
My GP has likened these spasms to a misfire in the brain engine which makes it cough along a nerve.
Funy how these explanations work well that put things in a different context. Wonderful explanation.
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
I have printed the web pages relating to Myoclonus. We are due to see the consultant later this month.

Last time I raised the problem of jerking ect. he sent Lionel for EEg and other scans, and then said they could find nothing. I shall leave said web pages with him for his perusal. Thanks for all the info on this subject. Connie
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Myoclonus recognised at last.

Both Lionel's CPN and our GP are now recognising that something should be done about the spadmodic jerks and jumps.

I have had bed bars fitted today for Lionel to stop this jerking out of bed, and the GP has prescribed a muscle relaxant for him to take at night.

Here's hoping for a good nights sleep. Thanks for all the info on this. Regards Connie
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
connie said:
I have had bed bars fitted today for Lionel to stop this jerking out of bed, and the GP has prescribed a muscle relaxant for him to take at night.

Here's hoping for a good nights sleep.
And so say all of us! Hope you are just a little less stressed now Connie, I know I'm not alone in having worried about you last week.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Mum gets them really badly in a morning. Though we had talked to the doctor, CPN and others, no-one has ever given the jerks a name.
Thankyou.
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Dear Amy, Lionel was prescribed a muscle relexant, but I feel the dosage was too high. It could be a contributary cause of his recent decreased mobility.
He is certainly not jerking, and whilst he is in the nursing home (having his assessment) they are going to reduce the dosage to an acceptable level.

I understand from the G.P. it is a recognisable condition, and when I mentioned, in passing ,to the paramedics about his jerking they said "oh myoclonus"
Yet I had been on about this for months before they did anything about it.

Take care, Connie