What Are Fasciculations in ALS?

Many people suffer from fasciculations or muscle twitching, and most of the time, it’s caused by drinking too much coffee, a lack of sleep or a trapped nerve. However, repeated episodes of fasciculations could be a sign of a neuromuscular disorder such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

MORE: An overview of the signs and symptoms of ALS.

Muscle twitching is not enough of a symptom on its own for doctors to diagnose ALS. According to the ALS Association, doctors also need to see signs of progressive muscle deterioration, along with other symptoms.

Fasciculations are caused by the tips of nerves (axons) coming into contact with nearby muscles, sending an electrial signal which causes the muscle to twitch. The sensation can be a one-off event or can continue sporadically for weeks or even months and in most cases will cease on its own.

People living with ALS will often experience muscle twitching as the signal from the nerves to the muscles become more disrupted. However, there is no evidence that suggests that muscle twitching is linked to how quickly the disease will progress.

MORE: Nine things to know about the new ALS drug, Radicava

ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


  1. Marilynn J Nehring says:

    My 1st cousin just passed on from ALS. Several years ago, my cousin’s mother passed on from Alzheimer’s. I have similar symptoms as my cousin and his mother. I have Myasthenia Gravis Ptosis. I am 68 years old. I was diagnosed at age 65. I have seen many Neurologists, mostly for my memory issues. About a year ago, I had a NEW brain MRI, which uses a different dye, that will diagnose Alzheimer’s. I had 22 points that indicated that I didn’t have Alzheimer’s or any Dementia. I have very little strength, am tired most of the time, I’ve had 3 eye surgeries to correct my eyes, and most of my energy has been “sucked” right out of me. I rarely have any double-vision anymore, and I do not fall very much, where my legs just won’t work. What do your doc’s say about either of the 2 diseases being related, and could be that MG is a “beginning” of ALS.

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