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March 1947


Arch NeurPsych. 1947;57(3):342-350. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300260082006

IN 1881 Friedreich1 described paramyoclonus multiplex as a syndrome characterized by the occurrence of abrupt twitches in bilaterally symmetric muscle units. The twitches were asynergic and affected only distal muscle groups. During sleep the myoclonic twitches disappeared; but voluntary relaxation, and mechanical, thermal, electrical and emotional stimuli produced an increase in the frequency and degree of contractions. A conspicuous absence of signs and symptoms of disease of the peripheral and central nervous systems was observed.

Since the cause of paramyoclonus multiplex has remained obscure, numerous remedies may be found in the literature. A summary of the various forms of treatment used formally is recorded in table 1. In addition, when the disease occurs after trauma (Starr2), mental and physical exertion or fevers (Raymond,3 Bing,4 Keschner,5 Lafforgue6), or as an accompaniment of lead poisoning (Leusche), dementia paralytica (Gravitz, Williams), endocrine disorder (Magaudda), neurosyphilis (Weingrow7