The clinical challenge of progressive myoclonus epilepsy.
Children’s National Medical Center,
Department of Neurology Research, Washington, D.C.
Nurse Pract 1993 May;18(5):25-8
Health care providers who care for patients with seizure disorders should be able to recognize progressive myoclonus epilepsy. Progressive myoclonus epilepsy is a syndrome confused with myoclonic seizures and other epilepsies. The main symptom is myoclonus, a brief involuntary muscle jerk of varying intensity that can throw a patient against a wall or to the ground. This article describes major types of progressive myoclonus epilepsy, a typical case presentation and two clinical drug trials available for these patients. The focus of clinical drug trials is to identify a drug that controls the myoclonus and improves the quality of life for the affected individual. There is no cure for patients with progressive myoclonus epilepsy. 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan and piracetam are two drugs available through clinical-research protocols to patients with progressive myoclonus epilepsy.