A case of useless hand as a first demyelinating event

  • Tarik BenhsainEmail author
  • Zaynab Abdulhakeem
  • Bouchra El Moutawakil
  • Mohammed Abdoh Rafai
  • Hicham El Otmani
Letter to the Editor


Athetosis is a clinical syndrome in which slow, writhing, vermicular, sinuous, cramp-like movements seem performed with great deliberation and force. Lesions associated with athetotic syndromes are generally located in the basal ganglia but can also be found in the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, corticospinal tract, brainstem, and can exceptionally be seen in parietal, frontal, or temporal cortex lesions [1].

Pseudoathetosis is clinically indistinguishable from athetosis and is caused by impaired proprioception. Spinal pseudoathetosis has been reported in association with various causes, including demyelination, inflammation, and syringomyelia [2].

We report the case of a patient who presents a first demyelinating event revealed by an isolated pseudoathetosis following a cervical spinal cord lesion.

Case report

A 56-year-old man was admitted for a 1-month history of difficulty manipulating objects and inability controlling his left hand. Neurological examination revealed...


Pseudoathetosis Athetosis Multiple sclerosis Useless hand 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1: Pseudoathetoid movement of the left hand worsened by eye closure. (MP4 23702 KB)

Supplementary material 2: Disappearance of the pseudoathetoid movement when the limb rests on a hard surface. (MP4 34707 KB)


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ibn Rochd University HospitalCasablancaMorocco
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine and PharmacyHassan II UniversityCasablancaMorocco

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