Rhythmic cortical myoclonus in a case of HIV-related encephalopathy

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We describe a 66-year-old, HIV-seropositive patient presenting with ataxia and upper limb rhythmic myoclonus activated by postural maintenance. Electromyograph (EMG) recordings of the forearm muscles showed 50-msec bursts, with a frequency of 10 Hz, concurring with frontocentral electroencephalograph (EEG) rhythmic activity. Autoregressive spectral analysis applied to the EEG-EMG traces made it possible to detect significant coherence between the rhythmic EEG discharges and EMG bursts. The amplitude of the middle-latency somatosensory evoked potentials was increased. Long-latency reflexes were enhanced. On the basis of the electrophysiological findings, the movement disorder should be considered a rhythmic variant of cortical myoclonus. In our patient, HIV infection may have caused a dysfunction in the central nervous system pathways involving the cerebellum and sensorimotor cortex, similar to that occurring in genetically determined conditions characterised by cortical myoclonus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1538
Number of pages6
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • Autoregressive spectral analysis
  • HIV infection
  • Rhythmic myoclonus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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