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Keywords:

  • Piracetam;
  • Myoclonus;
  • Progressive myoclonic epilepsy;
  • Cortical myoclonus

Abstract

Sixty patients with disabling myoclonus excluding mainly spinal myoclonus were treated by piracetam as an open-labeled study, and myoclonus score, neurological symptoms, functional disbility, and intensity of myoclonus were scored before and after treatment, including a blinded video inspection. Electrophysiological correlation also was investigated before and after treatment. Piracetam was effective in myoclonus, especially that of cortical origin, in both had positive benefits on gait ataxia and convulsions but not on dysarthria, and feeding and hand writing improved much significantly. Psychologically significant improvement was seen in decreased motivation, sleep distrubance, attention deficit, and depression, all of which might be possibly secondary benefits associated with improvement of myoclonus. There was no positive correlation between clinical and electrophysiological improvement. Tolerance was good, and side effects were transient. However, hematological abnormalities observed in at least two patients in the present study should be kept in mind when relatively large doses of piracetam are administered, especially in combination with other antimyoclonic drugs.