Palato-pharyngo-laryngeal myoclonus with recurrent retrograde feeding tube migration after cerebellar hemorrhagic stroke: a case report and review of hypertrophic olivary degeneration
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BACKGROUND: Palato-pharyngo-laryngeal myoclonus, a variant of palatal myoclonus, is characterized by involuntary rhythmic movements of palatal, pharyngeal, and laryngeal muscles. Symptomatic palatal myoclonus is classically associated with hypertrophic olivary degeneration on MRI imaging due to a lesion in the triangle of Guillain-Mollaret. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of palato-pharyngo-laryngeal myoclonus in a patient post-cerebellar hemorrhagic stroke who presented with recurrent retrograde migration of his gastrojejunostomy feeding tubes. Treatment with either divalproex sodium or gabapentin resulted in a significant decrease in his gastrointestinal symptoms and no further episodes of gastrojejunostomy tube migration. CONCLUSIONS: This case study indicates that the movement disorder associated with hypertrophic olivary degeneration may involve the gastrointestinal system. Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin and divalproex sodium, may reduce the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms in cases associated with hypertrophic olivary degeneration. The anatomy of the Guillain-Mollaret triangle and the pathophysiology of hypertrophic olivary degeneration are reviewed.
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