If you have ever seen your infant suddenly jerk during sleep, it may give you a start or causes you to worry. What you are seeing is likely a benign condition known as sleep myoclonus, also known as nocturnal myoclonus. While myoclonus tends to resolve spontaneously over time in babies, it can suddenly develop in adults for any number of reasons. It is involuntary, meaning that it is not under conscious control and not done on purpose.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain. People are diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures. Sometimes it is hard to tell when a person is having a seizure. Learn about different types of seizures and their signs and symptoms so you can tell when someone is having a seizure.
Myoclonic epilepsy involves myoclonic seizures. They are characterized by myoclonic jerks—sudden, unintended muscle contractions. There are several types of myoclonic epilepsy, all of which usually begin during childhood, are typically caused by genetic factors, and may also cause cognitive and developmental problems.