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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 4 (1991), Issue 3, Pages 167-179

Alien Hand Sign and Other Cognitive Deficits following Ruptured Aneurysm of the Anterior Communicating Artery

Alan J. Parkin1 and Caroline Barry2

1Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9QG, UK
2Unsted Park Rehabilitation Centre, Unsted Park, Munsted Heath, Godalming, Surrey, UK

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We describe a right-handed patient who suffered a ruptured aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery (ACoA) which was clipped successfully. Computerized tomography indicated a low density area in the genu of the corpus callosum and the infero-lateral aspect of the left frontal lobe. On recovery the patient's most notable deficit was the “alien hand sign” whereby the left hand would frequently interfere with the actions of the right hand. Problems in response initiation were also evident. There was significant memory loss and performance was impaired on some tests of frontal lobe function. Discussion centres on the functional locus of the alien hand sign but other aspects of the patient's deficits are also considered.