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Review
. 2019;161:281-290.
doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-64142-7.00054-0.

Peripheral Nerve Hyperexcitability

Affiliations
Review

Peripheral Nerve Hyperexcitability

Bashar Katirji. Handb Clin Neurol. .

Abstract

Neuromyotonic and myokymic discharges are abnormal electrical muscular discharges caused by ectopic discharges from motor axons and represent the hallmarks of peripheral nerve hyperexcitability. Neuromyotonic discharges are specific for peripheral nerve hyperexcitability syndromes, whereas myokymic discharges may occur either focally or in a more generalized fashion in many other peripheral nerve disorders. Isaacs syndrome and Morvan syndrome are rare acquired peripheral nerve hyperexcitability disorders that share common clinical features and are often associated with elevated voltage-gated potassium channel-complex antibodies. Central nervous system symptomatology is more common in Morvan syndrome, which also overlaps with limbic encephalitis. Cramp-fasciculation syndrome, a more common syndrome, may represent a milder form of peripheral nerve hyperexcitability. Peripheral nerve hyperexcitability syndromes should be distinguished from stiff person syndrome, myotonic disorders, and rippling muscle disease. When severe, Isaacs syndrome and Morvan syndrome may be disabling but often respond to membrane-stabilizing drugs and immunomodulatory treatments. The electrophysiologic features of these disorders are described.

Keywords: Cramp-fasciculation syndrome; Episodic ataxia; Isaacs syndrome; Morvan syndrome; Myokymia; Neuromyotonia; Peripheral nerve hyperexcitability.

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