nodding spasm

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spasm

 [spazm]
1. a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
2. a sudden, transitory constriction of a passage, canal, or orifice; spasms usually occur when the nerves supplying muscles are irritated, and are often accompanied by pain. A vasospasm is a rare type that occurs in a blood vessel. Spasms vary from mild twitches to severe convulsions and may be the symptoms of any number of disorders. Usually, they will cease when the cause is corrected, but sometimes the only treatment is to suppress the symptoms, as in epilepsy.

Clonic Spasms. These are spasms in which contraction and relaxation of the muscle alternate; this is the most common type of spasm and usually is not severe. A typical clonic spasm is the hiccup. Hiccups usually occur when the diaphragm is irritated, as by indigestion, although occasionally they may result from a serious condition such as a brain tumor; they generally disappear by themselves or after a drink of water.



Spasms may be repetitive twitching motions, some of which are called tics. Tics often accompany other types of spasm, as in such diseases as cerebral palsy and sydenham's chorea, and may also be seen in neuralgia. In tic douloureux the nerves of the face are involved.

Habit spasms are a type of repetitive twitching movements that seem purposeless or without a cause; they include twitching of the face, blinking of the eyes, and grimacing. The movements are rapid and always repeated in the same way, unlike the spasms associated with chorea. The motions are carried out automatically in response to a stimulus that once may have existed but no longer does.

In a convulsive spasm the entire body is jerked by sudden violent movements that may involve almost all the muscles. These spasms may last from a fraction of a second to several seconds, or even minutes. (See also convulsion.)
Tonic Spasms. If the contraction of a spasm is sustained or continuing, it is called a tonic or tetanic spasm. These are generally severe because they are caused by diseases that affect the central nervous system or brain, such as tetanus, rabies, and cerebral palsy. Severe tonic spasms can be fatal if not treated promptly; continued spasms can bring on exhaustion or asphyxiation. The treatment varies with the cause; if the disease is caused by a microorganism in the system, as in tetanus, antiserum must be administered immediately. Antibiotics are also used to help curb infection. In many cases tranquilizers, sedatives, and narcotics must be administered to help ease the spasms.
bronchial spasm spasmodic contraction of the muscular coat of the smaller divisions of the bronchi, as occurs in asthma; called also bronchospasm.
clonic spasm a spasm consisting of clonic contractions; see also clonus.
infantile s's (infantile massive s's) (jackknife s's) a syndrome of severe myoclonus appearing in the first 18 months of life, and associated with general cerebral deterioration; it is marked by severe flexion spasms of the head, neck, and trunk and extension of the arms and legs. Called also jackknife seizures.
nodding spasm clonic spasm of the sternomastoid muscles, causing a nodding motion of the head.
saltatory spasm clonic spasms of the muscles of the lower limbs, producing a peculiar jumping or springing action.
tetanic spasm (tonic spasm) physiological tetanus.

nod·ding spasm

1. in infants, a drop of the head on the chest due to loss of tone in the posterior neck muscles as in epilepsia nutans, or to tonic spasm of anterior neck muscles as in West syndrome;
2. in adults, a nodding of the head from clonic spasms of the sternomastoid muscles.

nod·ding spasm

(nod'ing spazm)
1. In infants, a drop of the head on the chest due to loss of tone in the neck muscles as in epilepsia nutans, or to tonic spasm of anterior neck muscles as in West syndrome.
2. In adults, a nodding of the head from clonic spasms of the sternomastoid muscles.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bomb-making for the Dar es Salaam attack began in June 1998.
Though the US government lacks Abebe's testimony, Lewin said that prosecutors will still present witnesses who can testify that Ghailani bought oxygen and acetylene tanks as well as the white Nissan Atlas truck used in the Dar es Salaam attack.
The US Government offered a $2 million reward for the capture of a fugitive charged with killing 12 Americans by helping plan the bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, which occured almost simultaneously with the Dar es Salaam attack. The two embassy bombings killed a total of 258 people and injured thousands.
It said the Nairobi bombing was carried out by two men from Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, while an Egyptian staged the Dar es Salaam attack. It did not mention the men's fate.
And the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam attacks in August 1998 had their origins in terror cells in Sudan.
247 people were killed and 5,000 wounded in the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam attacks. Mann and Mairone allege that the defendants eI| the Republic of Sudan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and various security organs of those states eI| gave "sanctuary, technical assistance, explosive devices and training" to al-Qaeda.
On election day, angry voters at a polling station in the Kinondoni district of Dar es Salaam attacked a pick-up truck bearing a poster of the CCM Presidential candidate Mr Benjamin Mkapa after discovering ballot papers, ballot boxes and some TSh2.75m.
247 people were killed and 5,000 wounded in the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam attacks. Mann and Mairone allege that the defendants eCo the Republic of Sudan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and various security organs of those states eCo gave "sanctuary, technical assistance, explosive devices and training" to al-Qaeda.