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Sensory alien hand syndrome: case report and review of the literature
  1. Hakan Aya,
  2. Ferdinando S Buonannoa,
  3. Bruce H Priceb,
  4. Dean A Lea,
  5. Walter J Koroshetza
  1. aDepartment of Neurology, Stroke Service, VBK-802 Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 32 Fruit Street, Boston MA 02114, USA, bDepartment of Neurology, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02178–9106, USA
  1. Dr Ferdinando S Buonanno, Department of Neurology, Stroke Service, VBK-802 Massachusetts General Hospital, 32 Fruit Street, Boston MA, 02114, USA. Telephone 001 617 726 84 59; fax 001 617 726 50 43.


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.

  • alien hand syndrome
  • posterior
  • ischaemic stroke
  • posterior cerebral artery

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