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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 11 (1998), Issue 2, Pages 93-96
Case report

Paroxysmal Compulsion to Handle Keys in a Computer Operator Due To Meningioma in the Left Supplementary Motor Area

H. Tei,1,2 M. Iwata,1 and Y. Miura1

1Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Tokyo Women’s Medical College, Tokyo, Japan
2Department of Neurology, Toda Central General Hospital, Saitama, Japan

Received 1 August 1998; Accepted 1 August 1998

Copyright © 1998 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 the case of a computer operator who experienced paroxysmal attacks several times in which she felt a compulsion to handle keys with her right hand or actually her right hand moved involuntarily in a key-handling rhythm. Cranial CT and MRI revealed a mass lesion in the left medial aspect of the frontal lobe (supplementary motor area). After the removal of this tumor (meningioma), there were no more paroxysmal attacks. We suggest that voluntary movements controlled by the supplementary motor area were deranged by seizures provoked by the tumor. This case is attractive in relation to obsessive-compulsive disorder.