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Twitchy about fasciculation
  1. Mark R Baker1,2,
  2. Timothy L Williams3
  1. 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Institute of Neuroscience, The Medical School, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark R Baker, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK; m.r.baker{at}

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There is a vocal section of the regular audience attending the neurology grand rounds at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, who proudly occupy what might be termed ‘Pedants’ Corner’. Of late, these consultants, for that is what they are, have become increasingly concerned by the widespread misuse of the word ‘fasciculations’ for what Charcot referred to as ‘fibrillar twitches of muscles’ in his original description of the disease he named sclérose latérale amyotrophique.

Fasciculation (noun). a. The state of being fasciculate. b. That which is fasciculated. c. Physiology [from FASCICUL(US)] Uncoordinated twitching of a muscle, especially that involving the simultaneous contraction of whole bundles or fasciculi of muscle fibres.1

The word fasciculation …

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  • Contributors MRB: produced the first draft of the article and the final version of the article. TLW: edited the article and produced the second draft of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally reviewed by Martin Turner, Oxford, UK.

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