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Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus Follow-up

  • Author: Marc P DiFazio, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
Updated: Jan 02, 2015

Further Outpatient Care

Outpatient care of the child with a clear history of benign neonatal sleep myoclonus is within the purview of a general pediatrician. Monitoring for other neurologic or developmental concerns is included in the standard recommendations for pediatric care in the first year of life.


Further Inpatient Care

Further inpatient care is warranted in patients with benign neonatal sleep myoclonus (BNSM) only if other risk factors for neurologic disease are evident, such as developmental concerns, deficits or abnormalities upon examination, or signs of metabolic or infectious disease. However, as mentioned above, inpatient care should be strongly considered if the movements have not been clearly identified as benign in nature by a medical provider.


Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

No medications are indicated; in fact, treatment with benzodiazepines and other anticonvulsants may worsen the movements because they may cause sedation and sleep.



If clinical concern remains regarding the diagnosis, transfer the patient to a location where further neurodiagnostic testing and expertise can support the evaluation.



No long-term complications of benign neonatal sleep myoclonus are known. However, relatively small populations have been reported, and follow-up beyond 1 year has not been reported.



The prognosis is good, and no long-term residual sleep or neurobehavioral difficulties have been identified. Parents should be reassured that their child is normal and that no long-term implications are known. However, studies with follow-up longer than 1 year remain to be completed.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Marc P DiFazio, MD Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Director, Pediatric Subspecialty Services, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for Children

Marc P DiFazio, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, American Academy of Neurology, Child Neurology Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Dalila W Lewis, MD Pediatric Neurology Fellow, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Dalila W Lewis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Ayne Kimberly Iafolla, MD Corporate Medical Director, Pediatrix of Maryland; Medical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Active Staff, Departments of Neonatology and Genetics, Southern Maryland Hospital; Active Staff, Department of Neonatology, Washington County Hospital, Western Maryland Health System, and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital; Associate Staff, Departments of Neonatology and Genetics, Washington Adventist Hospital

Ayne Kimberly Iafolla, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, American Medical Association, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, American Society of Human Genetics, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Ted Rosenkrantz, MD Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Ted Rosenkrantz, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, Eastern Society for Pediatric Research, American Medical Association, Connecticut State Medical Society, Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Scott S MacGilvray, MD Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

Scott S MacGilvray, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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