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Tongue Twitching
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Tongue Twitching

Just one more quick question.  My tongue twitches at the tip quite often. I have taken notice of this for about three months now.  I'm sure you are familiar with my backgraound being that I posted 3 or 4 times before, but to give a quick run-down.
  
Twichting for about 18 months (Mainly insteps and calves)
33 Y/O male
Had 2 EMG's  1 @ 3 months and 1 @ 6 months (none of my tongue)and all were o.k. except fascics.
Had 3 different Neuro's tell me I am O.K. (one being from Columbia Presbyterian)
I can't shake this ALS scare.....

My question is:  Can Benign twitches occur in the tongue?  I constantly see mixed info on this.  Just so you know....they are definitly twitches, not just the "normal" twitchy movement of the tongue.  My speech seems O.K. and I can still tent my cheeks.  I can waggle my tongue around (left, right, up, down) with the best of them.  I have no swallowing difficulties.  If I had twitches in my tongue (due to ALS), wouldn't I have much more problems than just the twitches alone?  If twitches appear in the tongue prior to weakness, how long is the norm for  more signs/symptoms appear?  Is 3 months a long time to have twitches w/o weakness in the tongue?
Thanks for your help.
Brian



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Avatar_n_tn
Tongue fasciculations in the setting of ALS are usually within the bulk of the tongue muscle which is weak, partially or markedly atrophied (wasted away), and noticed on a careful examination by a physician rather than the patient himself. Not sure what to make of twitches in the tip of the tongue, but it doesn't sound like  true fasciculations. I spoke to our ALS specialist Dr. Pioro who says he's never seen benign fasciculations of the tongue (not saying that it absolutely can never ever happen, just that he's never seen it and personally does not feel there is such a thing).  Usually the patients that we see who have tongue fasciculations have the typical signs and symptoms of ALS that has significantly progressed (prominent weakness and muscle wasting).  The tongue fasciculations are NOT the presenting symptom unless they are accompanied by markedly slurred or even absent speech, difficulty moving the tongue due to atrophy and weakness, and profound difficulty swallowing. These patients are quite sick and many of them have had dramatic weight loss due to the inability to swallow. It is not the portrait of a young person with twitches who is otherwise healthy with normal EMGs and neurological examinations. This far out, I think it's pretty to safe to say that it is very very very unlikely that you have ALS at this time. Good luck.
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had a very similar experience.  I am a 31-year old male, and began having constant fasciculations in my feet and calves for about five months.  I met with a neurologist, but because I had no other symptoms relating to ALS, he thought it was safe to assume I had BFS and did no further testing.

Since then, I have noticed other twitches occaisionally in other parts of my body, including the tip of my tongue.  I just assumed it was a fasciculation like the others I have been having in other places.  Now I am wondering, based on the response you received, what is it?  If you discover an answer, let me know, and I'll do the same.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have also had twitching periodically in my tongue.  I have been twitching for 10 1/2 months and have had two clean EMG's.  Plus a trip to the Mayo Clinic with a diagnosis of BFS.  Also, the majority of my twitching is in my feet which is virtually nonstop.  I am a 23 year old male and also concerned about the tongue twitching.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 37 year old male(who also is a physical therapist so I may use some technical terms).  26 months ago I started to have twithing in my hand(adductor pollicis muscle). within a couple of months I started to notice some in many other areas of my body(quadriceps,biceps,palmaris longus Etc.)  In the summer of 2001 I had an EMG at Yale which was negative and also had an extensive neuro exam along with an EEG(I have a prior history of Seizures too).  All of these tests where negative.  I currently have very freuqent fasciculations in my calfs and right thumb(adductor pollicis). In addition I have some fasciculations in small portions of my tongue as well. I have no other symptoms of ALS.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 37 year old male(who also is a physical therapist so I may use some technical terms).  26 months ago I started to have twithing in my hand(adductor pollicis muscle). within a couple of months I started to notice some in many other areas of my body(quadriceps,biceps,palmaris longus Etc.)  In the summer of 2001 I had an EMG at Yale which was negative and also had an extensive neuro exam along with an EEG(I have a prior history of Seizures too).  All of these tests where negative.  I currently have very freuqent fasciculations in my calfs and right thumb(adductor pollicis). In addition I have some fasciculations in small portions of my tongue as well. I have no other symptoms of ALS.
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Avatar_n_tn
Does your tongue quiver when you stick it out? If so, then it isn't twitching but having tremors.

My tongue quivers when I protrude it, but I don't feel twitching when my mouth is closed. I have had muscle twitching, cramping, stiffness, somnolence, exercise intolerance, muscle tenderness for the past 3 years. I am 39 years old. My doctor says it is benign cramp-fasciculation syndrome (although I will say that it is annoying) and might be fibromyalgia. Although fibromyalgia strikes mainly women, it does occur in men.

Dave
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Avatar_n_tn
I have developed fairly severe twitching of my tongue with some slurred speech. The speech is significantly improved, if not totally gone after rest.  Is tongue twitching common to any other types of neurological disorders other than ALS?  I will be seeing a neurologist in a short time but would like the answer to these question before my visit, if possible.  My health seems good otherwise, except for the worry and anxiety this has caused.
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