Review: PDF OnlyGiménez-Roldán S.; Mateo, D.; Muradas, V.; De Yebenes, J. G.Clinical Neuropharmacology: April 1988 - p 151-160 Buy Abstract Summary Posthypoxic action myoclonus is usually associated with impaired serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission but in some patients 5-HT precursors aggravate and 5-HT blockers improve action myoclonus. We studied a 65-year-old man who presented with action myoclonus following a prolonged episode of moderate hypoxia and severe hypercarbia. The myoclonus increased with 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) 1,200 mg/day plus carbidopa 300 mg/day and sodium salt of valproic acid (SVA) 800 mg/day, and improved with 1 mg of clonazepam (CNZ) in an intravenous bolus. Biochemical analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) prior to any drug therapy did not reveal abnormalities in the levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) but 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels were elevated in comparison with controls (33 versus 21 ng/ml). SVA therapy produced a moderate increase and 5-HTP plus carbidopa a threefold elevation of 5-HIAA in CSF and marked aggravation of action myoclonus. Methysergide (3 mg/day) totally suppressed myoclonus and decreased CSF 5-HIAA to undetectable levels. Methysergide also reduced CSF tryptophan to 40% of baseline levels. Discontinuation of methysergide and substitution by placebo was followed by reappearance of myoclonus. A partial and incomplete spontaneous remission of symptoms took place 7 months after the asphyxic episode. Action myoclonus and enhanced 5-HT neurotransmission may be present in patients in which acidosis reverses the effects of hypoxia on 5-HT neurotransmission. © Williams & Wilkins 1988. All Rights Reserved.