Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsy

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsy is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME) is a group of conditions involving the central nervous system and representing more than a dozen different diseases. These diseases share certain features, including a worsening of symptoms over time and the presence of both muscle contractions (myoclonus) and seizures (epilepsy). Patients may have more than one type of seizure, such as petit mal or grand mal. PME is progressive, but the rate of progression may be quick or slow, depending on the underlying disease.

Progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME) is different from myoclonic epilepsy. In myoclonic epilepsy, the myoclonic jerking motions occur as part of the seizure. In PME, myoclonus occurs separately from seizures, the two respond differently to the same drugs, they evolve differently during the natural history of the disease, and they cause different problems for the patient. Some drugs that are good for seizures, e.g. phenytoin and carbamazepine, may tend to make the myoclonus worse.

Supporting Organizations

Epilepsy Canada

2900 John St., Suite 402
Ontario, L3R 5G3
Fax: 9055139461
Tel: 8777340873

Epilepsy Foundation

8301 Professional Place
Landover, MD 20785-7223
Tel: (866)330-2718
Fax: (877)687-4878
Tel: (800)332-1000

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424

National Pediatric Neuroinflammation Organization, Inc.

12001 Research Parkway
Suite 236
Orlando, FL 32826
Tel: 877 359 8599
Fax: 877 369 8488

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  1/29/2008
Copyright  2008 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.