The alien hand syndrome: classification of forms reported and discussion of a new condition
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The term “alien hand” refers to a variety of clinical conditions whose common characteristic is the uncontrolled behavior or the feeling of strangeness of one extremity, most commonly the left hand. Acommon classification distinguishes between the posterior or sensory form of the alien hand, and the anterior or motor form of this condition. However, there are inconsistencies, such as the phenomenon of diagonistic dyspraxia, which is largely a motor syndrome despite being more frequently associated with posterior callosal lesions. We discuss critically the existing nomenclature and we also describe a case recently reported by us which does not fit any previously reported condition, termed agonistic dyspraxia. We propose that the cases of alien hand described in the literature can be classified into at least five broad categories: (i) diagonistic dyspraxia and related syndromes, (ii) alien hand, (iii) way-ward hand and related syndromes, (iv) supernumerary hands and (v) agonistic dyspraxia.
Key wordsAlien hand Agonistic dyspraxia Corpus callosum Diagonistic dyspraxia Frontal lobe Parietal lobe Split brain
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