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March 1968

"Ocular Bobbing" in Palatal Myoclonus

Author Affiliations

Hines, Ill
From Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Hines, Ill, and departments of neurology and psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Arch Neurol. 1968;18(3):304-310. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00470330094010

PALATAL myoclonus is a continuous, rhythmic twitching of the palate, often associated and synchronous with movements of pharynx, larynx, floor of the mouth, tongue, face, neck, and diaphragm, together with nodding of the head and, rarely, tremor of the hand. These movements occur at a rate of about 100 to 180/min and persist during chewing, swallowing, breathing, local and general anesthesia, and sleep. Gallet1 credits Politzer with the first description of palatal myoclonus in 1862. The earliest case report in English literature appears to be Spencer's letter to the editors of the Lancet in 1886.2 Since that time, over 100 cases have been reported.3

Associated ocular movements have occasionally been noted since Spencer's description. However, the description of such movements is quite diversified and often unclear. The effect of sleep upon the ocular movements and the relation of the latter to palatal myoclonus are not well

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