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.

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  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.

  2. F. Aderibigbe says:

    Hello, I am 23 years female old and I have been diagnosed with benign fasciculation syndrome. I have been experiencing fasciculations since I was about 16 or 17 years old. At first, they thought I had been bitten by a tick and had Lyme’s Disease, but the infectious disease doctor said the tests ran were false-positive titers. I am wondering why there is so little reliable information about fasiculations and their causes. None of my family has it and sometimes i feel as though the doctors can do nothing for me and its very frustrating. It’s annoying movement all over my body and feels like bugs are sometimes randomly crawling on me .(But it’s never painful, but so annoying, especially if it stays at one spot for days….) It makes me feel self-conscious and sometimes self-loathing wondering why is this happening to me. I have been prescribed a series different of muscle relaxants for a couple of years, but they do nothing but alleviate my symptoms. I have had some EMG testing done and none of the test ever read the presence of them. Any advice for me? Please advise.

  3. Andrzej Świerżewski says:

    Hi. I had an onset of fasciculations shortly after a tick bite which infected me with bartonella bacteria as tests showed latter . They are one of the most common symptom of bartonellosis .so in fact ALS can be a misdiagnosis and often is confused with bartonellosis or neuro-Lyme disease as well.

  4. Sally says:

    I’ve had them along with myoclonus pretty much my whole life but they are getting worse, more frequent so I’ve started tracking them. Combined I have over 100 involuntary and uncontrolled muscle movements a day. I also have been getting weaker and weaker and my muscle tissue needs to be breaking down. Just barely got doctors to take my liver problems seriously, getting them to listen this these concerns seems like a pipe dream. No they are not stress related. I have stress related ticks as well. they are different, very different

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