Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Alien Hand Syndrome

  • Gary Goldberg
  • Matthew E. Goodwin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_1877


Short Description or Definition

Alien hand syndrome (AHS) is a relatively rare manifestation of damage to specific brain regions involved in voluntary movement. 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 voluntary control. The patient fails to recognize the action of one of his hands as his 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 movement. This definition excludes disordered, non-purposeful, and dyskinetic movements associated with other involuntary movement disorders such as chorea,...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Goldberg
    • 1
  • Matthew E. Goodwin
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine/Medical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA