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Alien hand syndrome

  1. The term 'alien hand' refers to a broad spectrum of clinical conditions in which the main characteristic is uncontrolled behavior or a feeling of alienation from one or more extremities, often the left hand. In this article, the definition, characteristics, causes and treatment options of this phenomenon are described in turn.

What is alien hand syndrome?

  1. The alien hand syndrome is a condition in which repetitive involuntary movements are made, in most cases by one of the hands. The hands move in such a way that it seems as if the patient in question is trying to grab an object, or that the hand movement is aimed at performing a specific task. In this respect, alien hand syndrome differs from other involuntary hand movements such as tremors, where the hand movements are non-specific. The hands of people with alien hand syndrome seem to have a life of their own, separate from the will of the owner of the hands. The hand feels as it were like an object that is separate from one's own body, one is completely alienated from the hand. Some patients speak of their alien hand as if it were a personality completely of its own: "it just won't stop" or "I just can't get it to listen to me." In some patients, this depersonalization of the hand even results in punishing the “bad hand” with the “good hand” by hitting or deliberately hurting it. However, there are also patients who secretly find such a hand entertaining and joke about it. Although the hand may feel “possessed,” most patients understand that their condition stems from a neurological disorder

Causes of alien hand syndrome

  1. Alien hand syndrome usually develops after acute focal cerebral injury, such as a stroke, or after the surgical removal of the corpus callosum, the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Alien hand syndrome can also occur with dementia syndromes. Depending on the location and severity of the brain injury, various additional phenomena may occur, related or unrelated to the involuntary hand movements

Prognosis and treatment of alien hand syndrome

  1. As for the prognosis, the outlook for people with alien hand syndrome

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