From physiological neck myoclonus to sleep related head jerk.

Wolfensberger, Beat; Ferri, Raffaele; Bianco, Giovanni; Abbafati, Manuel; Miano, Silvia; Kaelin-Lang, Alain; Bassetti, Claudio L.; Manconi, Mauro (2019). From physiological neck myoclonus to sleep related head jerk. Journal of sleep research, 28(5), e12831. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/jsr.12831

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Neck myoclonus (NM) is a frequent recently described sleep-related motor phenomenon occurring mainly during REM sleep with uncertain effect on sleep continuity. To better describe this phenomenon we studied 11 consecutive drug-free patients undergoing a video-polysomnographic (V-PSG) study who present at least 5 NM events in one single night of recording. All events were measured and checked for their association with rapid eye and leg movements, EEG arousals, awakenings and Bereitschaftspotential. One hundred and eighty-two motor events from 11 subjects were analyzed. Motor events were approximately 0.5 s in duration and occurred during REM sleep in 79.7% of the cases. Only 14.8% of the events were associated with rapid eye movements, 52.2% with leg movements, while approximately 80% of them were accompanied by an arousal or awakening. No EEG abnormalities and Bereitschaftspotential were observed. For its duration and its segregation in sleep, NM could be more appropriately named "sleep-related head jerks" (SRHJ). SRHJ should be recognized and its effect on sleep stability should be re-considered.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Bassetti, Claudio L.A., Manconi, Mauro


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Chantal Kottler

Date Deposited:

11 Nov 2019 09:04

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

REM sleep polysomnography sleep related motor disorder twitches




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