Muscle fasciculations or muscle twitches are small, rapid, involuntary contractions in skeletal muscles that are too weak to move a limb. Superficial muscle fasciculations are visible to the eye. Deeper muscle fasciculations are detected by electromyography (EMG) testing. They result from an involuntary firing of a single motor neuron (nerve cell) and all its innervated muscle fibers.
Muscle fasciculations can occur in healthy people especially in the eyelid muscles, and are considered harmless, however, when fasciculations are accompanied by muscle weakness or atrophy, these fasciculations may indicate a neurological dysfunction.
Prevalence[edit | edit source]
- In a 2001 Belgian study, 58.5% of patients meeting the Fukuda criteria and 64.1% of patients meeting the Holmes criteria, in a cohort of 2073 chronic fatigue syndrome patients, reported muscle fasciculations.
Symptom recognition[edit | edit source]
Notable studies[edit | edit source]
Possible causes[edit | edit source]
Potential treatments[edit | edit source]
Learn more[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Steven McGee (2018), Chapter 61 – Examination of the Motor System: Approach to Weakness (print)
- Mills, K R (Jun 1, 2005). "The basics of electromyography". Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 76 (suppl_2): ii32–ii35. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2005.069211. ISSN 0022-3050. PMC . PMID 15961866.
- Killian, J.M.. (2010). Electromyography. 428-435. doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-05712-7.00026-X.
- De Becker, Pascale; McGregor, Neil; De Meirleir, Kenny (December 2001). "A definition‐based analysis of symptoms in a large cohort of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Journal of Internal Medicine. 250 (3): 234–240. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2796.2001.00890.x.
- Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, A C Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols", Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (2): 7-115, doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02
myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A controversial term, invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that generally refers to a collection of symptoms as “fatigue”. There have been multiple attempts to come up with a set of diagnostic criteria to define this term, but few of those diagnostic criteria are currently in use. Previous attempts to define this term include the Fukuda criteria and the Oxford criteria. Some view the term as a useful diagnostic category for people with long-term fatigue of unexplained origin. Others view the term as a derogatory term borne out of animus towards patients. Some view the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, while others view myalgic encephalomyelitis as a distinct disease.