Hand Syndrome -
Bizarre neurological disorder of the anarchic hand with a life of its own.
I was typing with both my hands and sliding my finger on the touchpad to move the cursor.
Then I extended my right hand picked up the coffee mug and had a sip of coffee.
Both my hands were making coordinated movements exactly the way I wanted.
Now imagine these terrifying situations when suddenly your hands feel foreign to you and you have no control over its weird movements.
You hold a coffee mug with one hand and before you can take a sip the other hand grabs it and throws it on the floor.
While sleeping in the night you wake up gasping and much to your horror you find that your own hand is trying to throttle you.
You are out for a pleasant morning walk with your friend and you suddenly turn around and slap him on the face.
You begin to wonder whether the hand belongs to you or to an alien.
The name of this stange neurological disorder is Alien Hand Syndrome.
The disease was first discovered in 1908 by a German neurologist, Kurt Goldstein.
The name Alien Hand Syndrome was given by Joseph Bogen. (The callosal syndromes. in Clinical neuropsychology. eds Heilman KM, Valenstein E (Oxford University Press, New York), 3rd ed. pp 337?407.(1993) Bogen JE)
It is sometimes called Dr. Strangelove syndrome based on the strange hand movements of the main character of the movie Dr. Strangelove.
It is an excellent black comedy directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott.
In the movie Dr Stragelove had no control on his right hand and made strange movements like raising his black-gloved right hand into Nazi salutes or trying to throttle his own neck.
Alien hand syndrome is defined as an unwilled, uncontrollable, but purposeful movements of an upper limb that the patients feel does not belong to them.
They are under the impression that it is being controlled by an external force.
Autocriticism, is a commonly noted feature in this condition.
The patients often criticize and show astonished frustration with the behavior of the uncontrolled limb.
In one case a patient with left alien hand syndrome showed bizarre leg symptoms like walking straight ahead and not stopping even on command.
There was clear lack of coordination between verbal suggestion and motor response of his legs.
He walked away to unintended places and could not remember why and how he reached the place.
This is mainly due to disconnection between his mind and action.
While walking sometimes he would suddenly stand still or stick to the ground for a brief period.
Alien hand syndrome is rare but an important neurological disorder because of its disabling impact on the daily life.
The rehabilitative treatment can drastically improve activities of daily life. Doctor are
Corpus callosum hematoma secondary to cerebral venous malformation presenting as alien hand syndrome.
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