I'm currently working on an article comparing ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) to multiple sclerosis (MS). The two diseases share many symptoms, but are vastly different diseases, with completely different mechanisms and prognosis.
In doing this research, I came across the word "fasciculations," which is a common symptom of ALS. Fasciculations is basically a fancy word for "muscle twitches" - tiny, involuntary muscle contractions right under the skin - I've experienced these in my eyelid, twitching for a couple of minutes that go away. Like my experience, most fasciculations are benign and transient, meaning that they are no big deal and come and go.
However, fasciculations can also be caused by a number of diseases, such as ALS, Lyme Disease, Myasthenia Gravis, and other diseases of the motor neurons. This symptom can also be caused by dehydration, fatigue or various other things, like benzodiazapine withdrawal and magnesium deficiency.
There is also something called "benign fasciculation syndrome" (BFS), which has symptoms of frequent muscle twitches, but also numbness and tingling and fatigue - very common symptoms of MS.
This all got me wondering if fasciculations could also be a symptom of MS, since we have all sorts of funky things going on with our nerves. I realize that this is not a common symptom, but I am curious if it is ever a symptom of MS (or, if not a direct symptom, something that people with MS experience frequently).
Doing a little research in the "official" places, like PubMed and MedlinePlus, I came up with the answer "no, fasciculations have pretty much nothing to do with MS." However, digging a little more, I found some people who said that they had fasciculations and were later diagnosed with MS.
I decided to bring the question to the people - you. Have you ever experienced these little muscle twitches to the point that it bothered you? Where were they - legs, eyelids, other places? Did they accompany any specific MS symptom? Were you on any medication that you linked it to? What did your neurologist say? Tell us your "fasciculations stories" in the comment section below.