Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus in a child


  • Imella Marcos Department of Pediatrics, Airlangga University, Faculty of Medicine, Soetomo Hospital, Indonesia
  • Darto Saharso Department of Pediatrics, Airlangga University, Faculty of Medicine, Soetomo Hospital, Indonesia
  • Prastiya Indra Gunawan Department of Pediatrics, Airlangga University, Faculty of Medicine, Soetomo Hospital, Indonesia



Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus, Clinical criteria, Diagnostic criteria, Infant, Newborn, Non-epileptic events


Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus (BNSM), is a disorder generally mistaken for seizures during the newborn period. Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus is featured by myoclonic "lightninglike" jerks of the extremities that exclusively occur during sleep; it is not associated with epilepsy that occur only during sleep and cease abruptly when the child is agitated. This case reported was a 50 days-old baby boy with a history suggestive of abnormal movements for limbs noted over the preceding 7 days. Diagnosis of BNSM in infant based on history taking, clinical manifestation, and with no electroencephalographic changes. BNSM is usually not associated with any other neurologic impairment and spontaneously subsides within the first year of life. Its importance lies in the differential diagnosis with the epileptic, especially myoclonic, seizures of infancy. BNSM can be misinterpreting for neonatal seizures or even neonatal status epilepticus, the recognition of benign sleep myoclonus of infancy is imperative to elude unnecessary diagnostic studies and treatments.


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