Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Benign Fasciculation Syndrome-BFS (Part III)


We have identified nine categories of BFS associated with its main trigger, and have found associated, common characteristics for each one. As an example, one can examine the results of one y parameter, Stress. In the survey, participants were asked if they believe a stressful period in their lives triggered their BFS symptoms (yes or no). Six Stress linear regression models were run using Stress as the y variable and G, S, ST, B, RE, and V classification of parameters as x variables respectively. These results are displayed in Tables 1 through 7 which provide t-statistic data (statistical significance data) for each parameter versus stress. The Tables (1 through 7) also contain a summary from the “statistical significance” tab in the excel file to include those parameters with the strongest statistical significance versus the listed variable when it is modeled as the y variable. Parenthesis () around the result indicates a negative statistical significance.

Table 1: Stress vs. General


t statistic (No Units)

Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)



Cramps, Acupuncture, (Stress), (Stress1), Remedies, (Upper Leg)






(Prescription Drugs), Stress, (History)

Years Diagnosed (YD)


(Yoga), Altitude

Years with BFS Symptoms (YBFS)


Benzodiazepine, (Yoga), Remedies



Exercise1, Sickness, (Stress1), Anti-Seizure, Muscle Relaxants, (Yoga), Remedies



(Twitching), Pins and Needles, Muscle Fatigue and Weakness, (Numbness), Remedies

Table 2: Stress vs. Stressors


t statistic (No Units)

Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)



Sensitivity to Temperatures, Exercise, (Acupuncture), (Stress)



(Age), (EMG), Stress, (Anti-Seizure), Homeopathic, Missing

Stress / Anxiety 1 (SA1)


Sensitivity to Temperatures, Sleeping Pills, (Acupuncture), Missing, Sickness

Table 3: Stress vs. Symptoms


t statistic (No Units)

Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)



(MRI), Time, Day, Lower Leg, Prescription Drugs

Pins and Needles (PN)


Time, Feet, Sickness1, Flu Shot, (Chest), (Homeopathic), (Yoga)



Hands, Supplements, Time

Muscle Fatigue and Weakness (MFW)





(Exercise), (Chest), (Acupuncture), Head, Homeopathic, Massage, (Supplements)



Stress, Head



Anti-Depressants, (Day), (Exercise)

Muscle Stiffness (MS)


Years with Symptoms, Sickness, Head, (Exercise)

Vibration / Buzzing Sensation (VBS)


Sickness1, Feet, Abdomen, (Altitude)

Muscle Pain / Soreness (MPS)


Exercise1, Anti-Depressants

Sensitivity to Temperatures (STT)


Exercise1, (Abdomen), Muscle Relaxants, Sickness1, Homeopathic, Missing

Table 4: Stress vs. Body Part


t statistic

(No Units)

Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)



Muscle Relaxants, Sickness1, Twitching

Lower Leg (LL)


Twitching, Sickness1, Cramps, Time

Upper Leg (UL)


(Age), Muscle Fatigue, Time, Prescription Drugs

Hip / Buttock Region (HBR)


Prescription Drugs, Stress1, Sensitivity to Temperatures



(Age), Muscle Fatigue, Muscle Vibration



(Age), Muscle Vibration



Prescription Drugs, Muscle Vibration, (Diet)

Neck / Head (NH)


Stress, Stress1, Remedies, Time, (Flu Shot)



(Age), (Years Diagnosed), (Prescription Drugs)

Arms / Shoulder (AS)


(Age), EMG, Exercise1

Table 5: Stress vs. Remedies


t statistic (No Units)

Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)

Anti-Convulsants (AC)


EMG, Sickness1, Exercise, (Chest)

Anti-Depressants (AD)


(Twitching), (Day), Stress

Sleeping Pills (SP)


Region, (Abdomen), (Remedies)

Muscle Relaxants (MR)


(Chemicals), Sickness

Homeopathic Treatments (HT)





Exercise, Cramps, Muscle Vibration, Sensitivity to Temperatures



Muscle Vibration



(Sex), History, Cramps, (Numbness), (Sickness)



(Sex), Itching, (Lower Leg)




Benzodiazepine Drugs (BD)


No Correlation

Table 6: Stress vs. Various


t statistic (No Units)

Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)



Prescription Drugs, (Hip), Head, Anti-Seizure



Sex, Chemicals, Twitching, Pins and Needles, (Feet), (Back), Hands, Anti-Seizure, (Homeopathic)



Twitching, (Hip), (Sleeping Pills), Supplements



Sickness, Sickness1, Pins and Needles, Chemicals



Years Diagnosed

Table 7: Cause (Trigger) Statistical Significance


Statistical Significance (<85% Probability)

Flu Shot (FS)

Pins and Needles, Acupuncture


(Hip), (Chest), Arms, Time, Missing, (MRI), Twitching, Pins and Needles

Prescription Drugs (PD)

(Sex), Upper Leg, Missing, Sickness, (Hands), Remedies

Spine and Neck Injury (SNI)



(Years with Symptoms), Sickness1, (Arms), Missing, (Headaches), Sensitivity to Temperatures, Hands, Muscle Fatigue


Exercise1, Muscle Vibration, Supplements, (Headaches), (Hands), (Itching)

Stress / Anxiety (SA)

(EMG), Stress1, Itching, (Muscle Relaxants), (Age), Head, (Time), Upper Leg


(Region), Arms, Exercise, Acupuncture


Arms, (Day), (MRI)

From the correlation data (Table 1 through Table 7), unique forms or groups of BFS are defined, that stem from or are triggered by different ailments or conditions (listed in order from most common type to least common type). These forms of BFS are based on moderate to strong statistical significance and not correlation:

Stress BFS [4] – This is the most common classification and it is the one group that can see its symptoms reduce over time by managing their anxiety levels. It is not surprising this classification of BFS sufferers are more likely to consist of the most common statistical trends of BFS sufferers (had an EMG, are male, suffer twitching in the lower leg, and symptoms are exasperated by Stress). Stress BFS is more likely to afflict younger people. Stress will exasperate symptoms. Symptoms include itching where the neck and head region of the body are most likely to be affected. Symptoms can affect the upper leg and people with stress BFS are less likely to get an EMG. Muscle relaxants do not work very well to combat symptoms.

Sickness BFS [2] – The main characteristic of this BFS group is that symptoms are exasperated by an illness. Symptoms are less likely to affect the arm and shoulder region than other types. A person inflicted with sickness BFS is more likely to be sensitive to temperatures and suffer from muscle fatigue and weakness, but less likely to get headaches. People in this classification of BFS are more likely to find a remedy that works for them that was not included in the survey, but anti-seizure medications appear to help.

Prescription Drug BFS [4] – This category of BFS sufferers believe their symptoms started following the use of a prescription drug, most commonly the use of antibiotics to combat infections, or medication for attention deficit disorder or medication to combat allergies. A sickness will make their condition worse and women are more likely to be afflicted than males. This classification of BFS sufferers is likely to share the same statistical trends of BFS suffers (had an EMG, are Male, suffer Twitching in the Lower Leg, and symptoms are exasperated by Stress). Data indicates people afflicted with this type of BFS have symptoms that can affect many regions of their body (i.e., symptoms are not localized). Symptoms are less likely to occur in the hands, but more likely to occur in the upper leg region of the body. People in this group also feel a potential remedy that works well for them was not included in the survey. There is no data to suggest what other remedies that BFS sufferers have tried.

Exercise BFS [2] – People with this ailment of BFS believe their symptoms started due to hard and or strenuous exercise. People classified in this group can control their symptoms by cutting back on exercise. Symptoms can consist of muscle vibrations and will be worse in the leg region, but will be less likely to occur in the hands. People in this group generally suffer from more symptoms than other categories of BFS; however, this group appears to have the best opportunity to find remedies. They seem to find some relief from supplements (e.g., magnesium, potassium, and quinine) or anti-seizure medications. People in this group are less likely to suffer from headaches and itching.

History BFS [1] – There is evidence that neuromuscular joint disorders such as BFS can be hereditary. People in this group are more likely to come from the U.S. and have suffered from symptoms longer than others. Symptoms are more likely to occur in the arms and shoulders. Acupuncture is unlikely to alleviate symptoms. People in this group also feel exercise can exasperate symptoms.

Spine Injury BFS [2] – This is the hardest class to describe because it does not have a strong correlation with other parameters, however, it’s easier to identify. People with a spine injury are more likely to see symptoms in their feet than in their upper leg and arms. People with a spine injury are also less likely to find a remedy to work for them probably since they have physical damage to their bodies whereas other classifications are not related to injury.

Vaccine BFS [4] – This group of people believe their symptoms started after a vaccine, most notably the influenza vaccine. This classification of BFS has very little correlation to other parameters. The symptoms include pins and needles. Acupuncture may help to alleviate symptoms.

Chemical BFS [2] – This is the rarest classification of people who believe their symptoms started after being exposed to chemicals, most notably organophosphates used in pesticides and herbicides. People in this group are less likely to get an MRI even though their symptoms will get worse over time. Twitching and pins and needles are the primary symptoms and will most likely occur in the arms. Finally, symptoms are less likely to occur in the hip, buttock and chest regions. Symptoms for this classification of BFS sufferers are more localized and finding a workable remedy is unlikely.

Other BFS – This is a group of people who feel their symptoms of BFS were triggered by something other than those classifications defined within this survey. People in this group are more likely to experience symptoms in the arms and shoulders. People are less likely to get a MRI to rule out MS. Symptoms are more likely to occur or be worse earlier in the day. Several other causes of BFS have been theorized including such causal factors of drug addiction/alcohol abuse, or gluten sensitivity. [4] Drug and alcohol addiction were not included in the study since the author believed admission may prevent people from participating in the survey.

In addition to identifying categories of BFS, the author was also able to draw some other conclusions from the results found in Tables 1 through 7. Some of these include: 1) cramping symptoms are more likely to occur in older people; 2) sufferers are more likely to get an MRI if they suffer from muscle fatigue, weakness or pins and needles, than if they suffer from twitching; 3) twitching, pins and needles, and muscle fatigue symptoms get worse over time while muscle vibration symptoms improve over time; 4) symptoms in the feet and back improve over time, but symptoms in the legs and hands get worse over time; 5) altitude affects older people’s symptoms than those younger sufferers; 6) only people who suffer from stress induced BFS see their symptoms improve over time; 7) numbness and sensitivity to temperature symptoms are generally worse earlier in the day while twitching symptoms are worse later in the day.

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