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Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1998 September; 65(3): 366–369.
PMCID: PMC2170231

Sensory alien hand syndrome: case report and review of the literature


An 81 year old right handed woman developed a left alien hand syndrome characterised by involuntary movements of choking and hitting the face, neck, and shoulder. The patient showed multiple disorders of primary sensation, sensory processing, hemispatial attention, and visual association, as well as a combination of sensory, optic, and cerebellar ataxia (triple ataxia) of the left arm in the absence of motor neglect or hemiparesis. Imaging studies disclosed subacute infarction in the right thalamus, hippocampus, inferior temporal lobes, splenium of corpus callosum, and occipital lobe due to right posterior cerebral artery occlusion. This rare syndrome should be considered as a "sensory" or "posterior" form of the alien hand syndrome, to be distinguished from the "motor" or "anterior" form described more commonly.

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