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Keywords:

  • hemimasticatory spasm;
  • blink reflex;
  • botulinum toxin

Abstract

Hemimasticatory spasm (HMS) is a condition characterized by paroxysmal involuntary contraction of masticatory muscles. We performed an electrophysiological investigation of a single patient with HMS to identify any pathophysiological changes associated with the condition. We identified a delayed M wave and jaw jerk on the affected side and an absent masseteric silent period during spasm. Botulinum toxin injections successfully treated the clinical symptoms and resulted in a significant reduction in the excitability of the blink reflex recovery cycle. These data suggest that HMS may be due to ectopic activity in the motor portion of the trigeminal nerve that is capable of inducing changes in the excitability of central reflex pathways. These changes can be altered by successful treatment with botulinum toxin. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society