16. Other Jerks and Startles

  1. Alberto Albanese MD2 and
  2. Joseph Jankovic MD3
  1. Codrin Lungu and
  2. Mark Hallett

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444346183.ch16

Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment

Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment

How to Cite

Lungu, C. and Hallett, M. (2011) Other Jerks and Startles, in Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment (eds A. Albanese and J. Jankovic), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444346183.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy

  2. 3

    Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Author Information

  1. National Institute of Neurological, Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444333527

Online ISBN: 9781444346183



  • hyperekplexia;
  • myoclonus;
  • peripheral;
  • startle;
  • dystonia;
  • CRPS;
  • botulinum;
  • jerks;
  • dyskinesia;
  • spasm


This chapter covers miscellaneous hyperkinetic movement disorders not covered in other chapters. Myoclonias are brief sudden movements with various causes. Some types of myoclonus are normal phenomena such as the hypnic jerk and sporadic singultus. Secondary myoclonias have many possible causes, and treatment depends on the etiology. The startle syndromes include hereditary hyperekplexia, secondary hyperekplexia and culturally-bound syndromes, which exhibit overlap with psychogenic disorders. Peripherally-induced hyperkinetic movement disorders are a heterogeneous group, with hemifacial spasm the most common and best described. Peripheral injuries can induce spasms, myoclonias, dystonia or dyskinesia. Botulinum toxin or other centrally- and peripherally-acting agents are used for symptomatic therapy, in concert with treating the causes.