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Cramp-fasciculation syndrome


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Overview

What is cramp-fasciculation syndrome?

How might cramp-fasciculation syndrome be treated?

What is cramp-fasciculation syndrome?

Cramp-fasciculation syndrome is a rare condition of the muscles. People with this condition have persistent muscle twitching (fasciculations) and cramping, which can lead to muscle discomfort, pain, or tiredness. These symptoms are thought to be due to overactivity of the associated nerves. Muscles in the leg are most commonly affected, though this condition may involve several parts of the body. Exercise often worsens symptoms.[1][2] Cramp-fasciculation syndrome is believed to remain stable over time, meaning that it does not develop into a more serious disease.[2]
Last updated: 6/12/2013

How might cramp-fasciculation syndrome be treated?

There is limited information in the medical literature about the treatment of cramp-fasciculation syndrome (CFS).

In an article published in March 2014, the authors studied patients with seropositive (with neural autoantibodies) and seronegative (without neural autoantibodies) CFS. Of twelve patients with seropositive CFS, symptoms spontaneously remitted in two. The symptoms of seven patients responded to membrane-stabilizing agents (medications that reduce the hyper-excitability of nerves) such as carbamazepine, gabapentin, or pregabalin. Symptoms improved with immunotherapy (medications that affect the body's immune response) in two patients. Of patients in the seronegative group, CFS symptoms improved spontaneously in three people. Four patients improved with membrane-stabilizing agents, and one patient improved with immunotherapy. The authors concluded that most CFS patients with neural autoantibodies respond well to membrane-stabilizing agents, and only a small proportion of patients require immunotherapy.[3]
Last updated: 5/8/2014

References
  1. Jansen PH, van Dijck JA, Verbeek AL, Durian FW, Joosten EM. Estimation of the frequency of the muscular pain-fasciculation syndrome and the muscular cramp-fasciculation syndrome in the adult population. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience. 1991; 241:102-104. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1834178. Accessed 1/22/2013.
  2. de Carvalho M, Swash M. Cramps, muscle pain, and fasciculations: not always benign?. Neurology. 2004; 63:721-723. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15326252. Accessed 1/22/2013.
  3. Liewluck T, Klein CJ, Jones LK Jr. Cramp-fasciculation syndrome in patients with and without neural autoantibodies. March, 2014; 49(3):351-356. Accessed 5/12/2014.


See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.