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Moro or Startle Reflex

Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,709Administrator Scope community team
edited August 2015 in Cerebral Palsy
Hi, do any you guys with CP have this?
Scope
Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

Replies

  • nicebootsniceboots Posts: 195Member Pioneering
    yes!!!! I'm 28 and have what I would class as mild cp (diplegia). I have always had a startle reflex, it's worse when I'm nervous or stressed and can be triggered by noises or un expected things like people walking into a room suddenly...
    It's triggered mostly by noises and can even happen when I'm expecting a noise - particularly bangs! on bonfire night for example I wear earplugs to lessen it.
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    I have this too and it seemed to be getting worse as I got older. I was recently prescribed tizanidine for spasticity and my startle seems to have reduced. It's the thing I hate most about CP though. I had stopped socializing for fear of a loud noise and falling over or choking if I was having a meal out and it influenced my decision to stop driving. I still can't watch T.V or a film if visiting my parents as they get annoyed at my startle as it distracts them from what they are watching!
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,709Administrator Scope community team
    It drives me mad too! I have spoken to my G.P. about it but he prescribed beta blockers that were of no use at all. Do you know of any techniques/medication to control it? I did have one solution which is not practical.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    I take tizanidine 2mg every night and this seems to have reduced my startle a wee bit. If i'm going to the cinema I'll take another 2mg a few hours before I go as I always jump in the cinema. It's not one of my favourite places!
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    I was told by GP that nothing could be done for my startle reflex. My spasticity increased at the beginning of the year and I got referred to neuro physio. I fell off a gym ball after my physio sneezed and triggered my startle. I was really upset and told my physio how down it was getting me. She wrote to my GP and suggested I try Baclofen or Tizanidine. She also gave me relaxation CDs but I didn't find these beneficial and also gave me acupuncture which reduced my startle.
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    My GP referred me to the Mental Health Crisis Team when I stopped going out because of my startle as he 'couldn't think of anything else to do!' They suggested listening to music when I'm out and about to reduce the sudden noises I hear which I still do. They also suggested using a travel mug when I meet friends for coffee to reduce the risk of burns or drawing attention to myself if I startle and spill my drink. I also tend to drink bottles of Smirnoff Ice rather than vodka and mixers to prevent spillages when I jump. I still don't like going out with new people but can tolerate a few hours out with my close friends who just ignore my startle.
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,709Administrator Scope community team
    You have now idea what a relief it is to finally get to talk to other people with this. I have spent the majority of my life thinking I was the only one! I used to manage mine with alcohol but as i said before that is not healthy or practical in anyway. Sometimes nothing happens but then on certain days it is horrendous. Close friends are completely used to it. It makes me so angry though.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    I felt like a freak in my teenage years as I didn't know what was happening or why it was getting worse. I think it was hormone changes looking back now. I was bullied because of it and knocked myself out once as fell off a stool when my science teacher banged a ruler on my desk and I banged my head on the window ledge! Diazepam reduces my startle but makes me very tired but always have some in my bag for emergencies. I was initially given this for severe spasticity I had with a migraine. Is anyone able to drive with their startle reflex?
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,709Administrator Scope community team
    Have you had to stop driving yourself?
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    I mentioned it to my GP but he didn't feel I'd have to stop driving because of it. I mentioned it to neurologist and she advised me to stop driving if it was worrying me. I'm anxious that I'll startle and my foot will land on the accelerator.Has anyone found a way of coping at the dentist?
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,709Administrator Scope community team
    I have never found a way to deal with a visit to the dentist. I avoid going if at all possible.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • the_velvet_girlthe_velvet_girl Posts: 103Member Courageous
    My dentist refuses to do treatment due to my startle as it's 'too dangerous' but will do check ups. I now only go if I'm in pain but have been told I will need to go in to hospital if I need fillings or teeth out as my dentist can't do sedation.
  • RockyRocky Posts: 76Member Listener
    Hi, I saw this post a few days ago and meant to respond. Startle Reflex is an important part of development and something you would expect to see in infants up to the age of approx. 4 months. However, with some people, it remains and is quite common in people with cerebral palsy. Sometimes muscle tone or even ultra sensitive hearing (hyperacusis) can trigger a startle. Causes can relate to genetic development but often with CP it is due to the way the neural pathways develop and the plasticity of the brain. It is quite common in cerebral palsy and usually treated with muscle relaxants.
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