Dr Strangelove syndrome
A popular term for alien hand syndrome* in which a person’s hand or limb acts as if it has a mind of its own and has independent voluntary activity. As an example, the “good” hand, which is under the person’s normal voluntary control might put a cigarette in the mouth, and the “bad” (alien) hand might knock it out. Neuroimaging of patients with Dr Strangelove/alien hand syndrome typically reveals lesions in the medial frontal lobe and corpus callosum.
The reason for the syndrome is unknown; it is thought that the primary motor cortex controlling hand movement is isolated from influences of the premotor cortex, but is still able to execute hand movements. There is no cure or treatment.
*As of 09.12.2016, Dr Strangelove syndrome continues to be used and thus this is one of the few definitions that appears twice in this work.
Synonyms Alien hand syndrome, anarchic hand syndrome