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Mucsle Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome

  We have heard they are doing research on Muscle Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome.  My husband has been having muscle cramps and fasciculations for quite some time.  His history includes four back surgerys with the last one being two years ago.  The fasciculations started in his right lower leg, now I can see them in his legs, arms, and lower back.  He has had a number of tests done including a EMG last november 1997.  He is currently taking Oxycontin 60 mg. twice a day to help control the back and cramp pain.  I'm looking for further information on this condition and would appreciate any help that you could give to me.  There are days that he does not want to live with the pain any longer, as it breaks through the Oxycontin.    There has to be something else we can do.  Thanks, Nancy C.
Thanks for your question.  The Muscle Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome is one
of the several hyperexcitable syndromes that should be distinguished from
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  Given the extended duration of your
husband's symptoms, it is highly unlikely that it is ALS.  The following
are some review articles published in medical/neurological journals on
the subject.  They were not intended, and were not written in layman's
term, but can be read with some effort, and they can be found in any
good university libraries.  In particular, the abstract of the third
article follows the citation, and mentions diazepines or carbamazepine
(Tegretol) as possible therapies.  Please discuss these options with your
husband's physicians:
Cramp-fasciculation syndrome: a treatable hyperexcitable peripheral nerve
disorder [see comments]
Neurology 1991 Jul;41(7):1021-4   (ISSN: 0028-3878)
Estimation of the frequency of the muscular pain-fasciculation syndrome
and the muscular cramp-fasciculation syndrome in the adult population.
Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 1991;241(2):102-4   (ISSN: 0940-1334)
[Muscle cramps and fasciculations not always ominous: muscle cramp-fasciculation syndrome]
[Spierkrampen en fasciculaties niet altijd omineus: het spierkramp-fasciculatiesyndroom.]
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1996 Aug 10;140(32):1655-8   (ISSN: 0028-2162)
"In three patients, men of 43, 44 and 55 years old with muscle cramps,
fasciculations and easy fatiguability of muscles, cramp-fasciculation
syndrome was diagnosed.
This is a benign disorder which has to be differentiated from amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis. Response to treatment (benzodiazepines or carbamazepine)
is good."
I hope this information is helpful.  Best of luck.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only.
Please consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.

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