Asterixis - Definition

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Asterixis, or negative myoclonus, is a symptom encountered in neurology, characterized by a sudden and violent loss of tone in the extensor muscles of the hand. The hand makes brief movements inward, resembling the beating of wings, when it is supposed to be motionless. Asterixis is a clinical sign that is observable in cases of respiratory deficiency, when the blood contains too much carbon dioxide, and also in cases of hepatic encephalopathies.