Alien Hand Syndrome
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Basic Information

Alien Hand Syndrome (also sometimes known as AHS, Anarchic Hand or Doctor Strangelove Syndrome) is a neurological disorder where the patient / sufferer has little or no control over one of their hands, but that hand still does things. The hand might grab things without the person noticing, and then not let go. It might unbutton the shirt the other hand had just buttoned. It might make rude gestures in public. It may automatically pick up all nearby hairbrushes and start brushing. It may perform a parody or reversal of whatever the normal hand is doing. There's even reports of the affected hand trying to strangle the person it's attached too - such sufferers often sleep with their alien hand tied to the bed, just to be safe. The patient is generally unable to control their alien hand, and may end up wrestling with it.

AHS is extremely rare. It sometimes develops after brain surgery, such as corpus callosotomy intended to cure epilepsy. In other cases, it has set in after a stroke or infection. It most commonly happens to your non-dominant hand. Beyond mere lack of control, it's possible for a victim of this disorder to be unaware of what the hand is doing - only realizing what's happening when the hand's actions are so overt they draw attention. Some patients express a feeling that the hand is possessed by an alien or spirit. Some individuals personify the alien hand, giving it a name and perceiving a distinct and seperate personality in its actions.

See Also:

Related Conditions:

Unrelated, but thematically relevant:


2. NonFiction: 13 Things That Don't Make Sense by Michael Brooks
3. Movie: Mad Love (1935) — When a concert pianist's hands are mutilated in an accident, an obsessive doctor replaces them with the hands of a murderer. Things go badly. Of course, it's not a case of actual alien hand syndrome, but will give you ideas of crazy things that might happen.
4. Movie: Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) - the titular doctor has the syndrome, and the example is famous enough that AHS is often called Strangelove Syndrome.

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