Alien Hand Syndrome
Alien limb phenomenon; Anarchic hand; Callosal apraxia; Diagnostic dyspraxia; Dr. Strangelove syndrome; Intermanual conflict; Magnetic apraxia; Wayward hand
Short Description or Definition
Alien hand syndrome (AHS) is a relatively rare manifestation of damage to specific brain regions involved in purposive voluntary movement. It is postulated to be an impairment of the “sense of agency” or, alternatively, an impairment of intentionality. The core observation is the patient report that one of his/her hands is displaying purposeful, coordinated, and goal-directed behavior over which the patient feels he/she has no direct voluntary control. The patient fails to recognize the action of one of their hands as their own. The hand, effectively, appears to manifest a “will of its own.” This unique involuntary movement disorder is characterized by coordinated, well-organized, and clearly goal-directed limb movements that would otherwise be indistinguishable from normal voluntary...
References and Readings
- Brugger, F., Galovic, M., Weder, B. J., & Kägi, G. (2015). Supplementary motor complex and disturbed motor control. A retrospective clinical and lesion analysis of patients after anterior cerebral artery syndrome. Frontiers in Neurology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2015.00209. Available online at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fneur.2015.00209/full.
- Denny-Brown, D. (1966). The cerebral control of movement. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
- Hoffmeyer, J. (2011). The natural history of intentionality. A biosemiotic approach. In T. Schilhab, F. Stjernfelt, & T. Deacon (Eds.), Biosemiotics vol. 6: The symbolic species evolved (pp. 97–116). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Sarva, H., Deik, A., & Severt, W. L. (2014). Pathophysiology and treatment of alien hand syndrome. Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements, 4, 241. https://doi.org/10.7916/D8VX0F48. Available online at: http://www.tremorjournal.org/index.php/tremor/article/view/241
- Wolfe, N., Moore, J. W., Rae, C. L., Rittman, T., Altena, E., Haggard, P., & Rowe, J. B. (2013). The medial frontal-prefrontal network for altered awareness and control of action in corticobasal syndrome. Brain, 137, 208–220.Google Scholar