J Korean Neurol Assoc.  1998 Aug;16(4):578-581.

A Case of Lingual Myoclonus

  • 1Department of Neurology, Medical School, Chonbuk National University.


BACKGROUND: Continuous lingual myoclonus is an exceptional entity usually described in association with similar palatal, ocular, facial, diaphragmatic, or shoulders movements. Only a few cases of isolated lingual myoclonus have been reported until now, and the pathophysiology of lingual myoclonus is unclear. CASE: We have recently experienced a case of lingual myoclonus. A 27-year-old female patient was noted to have continuous involuntary contractions involving exclusively the tongue. Electromyographic study showed low frequency(2 Hz), more or less rhythmic bursts from right genioglossus muscle. There were no abnormalities in brain evoked potentials and brain MRI. Lingual myoclonus showed good response to valproic acid and botulinum toxin. COMMENT: Embryologically soft palate and tongue are different. Soft palate is both somatic and branchial origin, but tongue is somatic origin. And lingual myoclonus is more irregular than palatal myoclonus. Therefore, it is suspected that the pathophysiologic mechanisms of lingual myoclonus are somewhat different from those of palatal myoclonus.


Lingual myoclonus; Sodium valproate; Botulinum toxin
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