Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Stephen P. SallowayEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1896




Gegenhalten, from German to resist or hold against, is a form of hypertonia characterized by involuntary variable resistance during passive movement (i.e., a movement without effort). It is usually elicited by moving the patient’s forearm rapidly from a contracted to a stretched position, after instructing the patient not to resist. It is a primitive reflex, absent in adults, but can occur in association with frontal lobe disorders, generalized degenerative diseases, and catatonia. It should be distinguished from cogwheel rigidity, a sign of extrapyramidal syndromes.

References and Readings

  1. Goetz, C. G. (2007). Textbook of clinical neurology (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Butler Hospital Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA