Myoclonic seizures are sudden and brief. They cause people to have jerks that can affect one or both arms, the head or the whole body.

    Fast facts about myclonic seizures

    The word myoclonic comes from ‘myo’ meaning muscle, and ‘clonus’ meaning jerk

    Myoclonic seizures don’t usually affect consciousness

    The seizures usually only last for a fraction of a second, and happen with no warning

    The jerking can be very mild, like a twitch or shock, or it can be forceful

    If the jerks are very forceful they can cause accidents, which may result in injury

    Some people have myoclonic seizures in clusters

    They often happen soon after waking up

    How people can help

    If you have myoclonic seizures.

    It’s helpful for others to:

    It’s not helpful for others to:

    After the seizure

    You will probably be able to get back to what you were doing straight away.

    Do something

    Keeping a seizure diary really helps people to understand their seizures better.

    What percentage of your seizures are you recording in a seizure diary?

    Updated 12 May 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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