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Posted by CCF neuro MD on February 11, 1998 at 09:51:21:
In Reply to: What does a brisk jaw jerk signify posted by J.Figalis on February 10, 1998 at 19:34:25:
: I am writing this to find out the significance of a brisk jaw jerk. I had a
neurological examination and saw it written in my records that I recently requested. What does
this sign indicate. Everything else on my exam was normal. I am being tested for MS. My MRI was neg. Thanks.
A brisk jaw jerk is a difficult neurological test to be objective about,
and its significance is very questionable in isolation. When significant
it suggests damage to the nerve fibers which travel from the cortex of
the brain to the groups of cells in the brainstem which control the
muscles involved in mastication.
The technical term for this is pseudobulbar palsy, but unless the
brisk jaw jerk is associated with muscle weakness and exaggerated reflexes
its significance is very doubtful.
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