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Congenital mirror movements.
  1. G D Schott,
  2. M A Wyke


    In this report are described seven patients assessed clinically and neuropsychologically in whom mirror movements affecting predominantly the hands occurred as a congenital disorder. These mirror movements, representing a specific type of abnormal synkinesia, may arise as a hereditary condition, in the presence of a recognisable underlying neurological abnormality, and sporadically, and the seven patients provide more or less satisfactory examples of each of these three groups. Despite the apparent uniformity of the disorder, the heterogeneity and variability may be marked, examples in some of our patients including the pronounced increase in tone that developed with arm movement, and the capacity for modulation of the associated movement by alteration of neck position and bio-feedback. Various possible mechanisms are considered; these include impaired cerebral inhibition of unwanted movements, and functioning of abnormal motor pathways. Emphasis has been placed on the putative role of the direct, crossed corticomotoneurone pathways and on the unilateral and bilateral cerebral events that precede movement.

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