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Due to a lack of unequivocal data, it is not yet possible to reliably attribute the anatomic sources of myoclonus in metabolic-toxic, infectious or autoimmune disease.
Cortical myoclonus generators are probably the most frequent neuroanatomical substrate of myoclonus , but not necessarily in isolation.
Clinical, etiological or neuroanatomical classifications have been suggested (Table 1).
Physiologic myoclonus occurs during sleep transition or during sleep itself (hypnic jerks), for example.Thus, the finding of a back-averaged cortical negativity preceding the jerks or a giant somatosensory evoked response may point to a cortical myoclonus generator, while subcortical myoclonus lacks these features.On the other hand, enhanced long-loop muscular responses correlate with reflex myoclonus that may be found in cortical and subcortical (reticular) myoclonus alike.Data on the incidence or prevalence of myoclonus are scarce.The average annual incidence rate of pathologic and persistent myoclonus in one study was about 1 per 100,000 person-years and the lifetime prevalence of myoclonus was less than 10 cases per 100,000 population .