Thursday, 16 May 2013


Fasiculatons, or muscle twitches, are small, local, involuntary muscle contractions which are a common symptom of motor neuron disease. They are caused by a spontaneous depolarization of a lower motor neuron which in turn leads to a contraction of all of the skeletal muscle fibers within a single motor unit. In other words a lower neuron goes nuts and causes the related muscles to twitch. ALS is a form of motor neuron disease and fasiculations are an indicator for the clinical diagnosis.

Fasiculations do not mean you have ALS. In fact fasiculations are common in most people and are rarely bothersome. For those of us with ALS, fasiculations happen more often and can be quite bothersome. They are not only annoying but they can seriously interfere with quality of life.

I get fasiculations in most of my major muscle groups. They are quite common in my legs and I get them in my arms too. Sometimes my diaphram will get them and that is truly exciting. However the fasiculations that bother me the most, the ones that drive me nuts, are the ones I get in my upper eye lids.

As noted previously, fasiculations are not exclusive to people with ALS. They happen to all of us. The only difference is the quality and quantity of fasiculations for people with ALS. We get them more often and in more places. Most often we get them in areas of denervation but they happen all over the place.

For those of you without ALS, you can thank Benign Fasiculation Syndrome (BFS). This is a common condition related to weight, stress, heavy physical activity, drug reactions and any number of other ingredients. In fact, like ALS, the actual cause of BFS is unknown. Yet fasiculations are common.

This twitchy eyelid thing is a bugger. I don't know what starts it and I don't know what stops it. Sometimes if I hold my eyelid still the fasiculations seem to settle down. Other times nothing helps. The twitching starts and goes until it is over. Then I need to be patient for I know that the fasiculations always pass with time. The lower neurons settle down and all is well.

After that, I can rest. Well, sort of.

1 comment:

  1. Magnesium helps eye twitches.. . .I don't remember why but I was having issues with eye twitches and that was one of the solutions. I tried it and it worked. It may/may not work for you but might be worth trying even if it just lessens the severity or frequency. Cheers, B.