Fact of the Day
This is a real medical problem. Most cases arise after brain-related issues such as strokes or tumors. Unnaturally, this illness can also develop after brain surgery. Damage to the parts of the brain responsible for coherent and conscious arm/hand movements could cause them to send false signals randomly. Most people with AHS feel that their uncontrollable arm/hand is no longer a part of their body. Ironically enough, an alien hand is not always as maladroit as expected. In some cases, the hand can perform tasks like zipping zippers, snapping snaps, or buttoning buttons; randomly, of course.
The burden of a useless hand is intensified by the chance of it acting dangerously. Some AHS sufferers face unintentional self-strangulation. Scarily, this can occur during sleep. Another accidental occurrence may be the hitting of others without any notice on the part of the person with the affliction.
Recently, many cases of CJD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (the human resultant of infections from Mad Cow Disease, etc.) have led to Alien Hand Syndrome. Noticing this link shone some much needed light on the two disorders. Since CJD eats at the brain over time, it can easily take its toll on the motor skills part.
Damage to that which holds the right and left hemispheres of the brain together (corpus callosum) comes with a high risk of AHS. There is no cure. [sources: 1, 2, 3]
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