Author(s): Sugimoto K, Theoharides TC, Kempuraj D, Conti P
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Clinical evidence indicates that certain types of movement disorders are due to psychosomatic factors. Patients with myoclonic movements are usually treated by a variety of therapeutic agents. Autogenic training (AT), a recognized form of psychosomatic therapies, is suitable for certain types of neurological diseases. We describe a patient with myoclonus who failed to respond to conventional medical therapy. His symptoms were exaggerated by psychogenic factors, especially anger. CASE PRESENTATION: A 42-year-old man was admitted to our hospital, Preventive Welfare Clinic, for severe paroxysmal axial myoclonus of the left shoulder and abdominal muscles. The initial diagnosis was "combination of spinal segmental myoclonus and propriospinal myoclonus". The myoclonic movements did not occur during sleep but were aggravated by bathing, alcohol drinking, and anger. Psychological examination indicated hostile attribution. Although considered not to be a case of psychogenic myoclonus, a "psychogenic factor" was definitely involved in the induction of the organic myoclonus. The final diagnosis was "combination of spinal segmental myoclonus and propriospinal myoclonus accompanied by features of psychosomatic disorders". The patient underwent psychosomatic therapy including AT and surface electromyography (EMG)-biofeedback therapy and treatment with clonazepam and carbamazepine. RESULTS: AT and EMG-biofeedback resulted in shortening the duration and reducing the amplitude and frequency of the myoclonic discharges. CONCLUSION: Psychosomatic therapy with AT and surface EMG-biofeedback produced excellent improvement of myoclonic movements and allowed the reduction of the dosage of conventional medications.
This article was published in Biopsychosoc Med
and referenced in Journal of Spine