Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus.

Epilepsy Treatment and Research Unit, Federal University of São Paulo.
Epileptic disorders: international epilepsy journal with videotape (Impact Factor: 1.17). 07/2008; 10(2):177-80. DOI:10.1684/epd.2008.0196
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus is a non-epileptic disorder. This phenomenon of the first weeks of life is characterized by erratic myoclonic jerks occurring only during sleep and with no electroencephalographic changes. It is not associated with perinatal complications, disappears spontaneously within two to four months, and it does not compromise future development. We illustrate with a video this relatively frequent condition, which is often misdiagnosed as epileptic in nature, and discuss the clinical characteristics and differential diagnosis.

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    ABSTRACT: Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus is a nonepileptic syndrome characterized by myoclonic jerks during sleep. It occurs in the first weeks of life and disappears, in most cases, within 3 months. There are no sequelae, and psychomotor and cognitive development are normal. The syndrome is usually sporadic; only a few familial cases have been reported in the literature. This case report describes three members of a single family with benign neonatal sleep myoclonus and discusses its differentiation from other types of myoclonus.
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    ABSTRACT: To describe 10 infants with benign neonatal sleep myoclonus. Patient series, representing the experience of one pediatric neurologist. Referral-based Pediatric Neurology Service at a Children's Hospital. Sequential sample of 10 neonates referred for assessment of seizures and found to have benign neonatal sleep myoclonus. Neonates who did not have the events of concern during electroencephalography or in whom electroencephalography was not done were excluded even if the clinical features suggested the entity. Our patients met the criteria for the diagnosis. The myoclonus often increased with gentle restraint. The amplitude and duration of events mimicked convulsive status epilepticus and serial seizures in four neonates. In two of them the myoclonus worsened in spite of anticonvulsant therapy, decreasing substantially when such treatment was stopped. Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus, an entity characterized by (1) neonatal onset, (2) myoclonic jerks only during sleep, (3) abrupt and consistent cessation with arousal, (4) absence of concomitant electrographic changes suggestive of seizures, and (5) good outcome must be included in the differential diagnosis of neonatal seizures.
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