Exaggerated startle reflexes in an elderly woman

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Abstract

A 76-year-old woman with a 5-year history of excessive startle is reported. Electrophysiological recordings were made of muscle activation after acoustic and proprioceptive stimulation. The findings are discussed in relation to current knowledge of the startle reflex and classification of startle syndromes. It is concluded that this patient is best regarded as having a pathological exaggeration of the normal startle reflex rather than other causes of stimulus-sensitive muscle jerks.

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