Evolving isolated hand palsy: a parietal lobe syndrome associated with carotid artery disease

Brain. 1997 Dec;120 ( Pt 12):2251-7. doi: 10.1093/brain/120.12.2251.


Six patients with cerebral ischaemia who presented evolving isolated hand palsy were studied, five prospectively and one retrospectively. The motor deficit involved only the hand and the wrist in some cases. In almost all cases the motor deficit was pseudo-ulnar. None of them had a Babinski sign, all had mild sensory symptoms or signs in the affected hand. CT and MRI disclosed recent infarctions contralateral to the affected hand, in the white matter of the angular gyrus, in a vascular borderzone. Five had a tight stenosis of the internal carotid artery. The pyramidal tract was anatomically spared in three cases, even considering its parietal origin. Consistent with previous data, our study suggests that the parietal lobe is involved in the control of the motor function of the hand. We propose the existence of a new entity, characterized by an evolving non-pyramidal motor deficit in the hand following infarction of the angular gyrus of the inferior parietal lobe.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Hand*
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paralysis / physiopathology*
  • Parietal Lobe* / diagnostic imaging
  • Parietal Lobe* / pathology
  • Posture
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Wrist Joint