Asymmetric catalepsy after right hemisphere stroke

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Abstract

We describe the appearance of left hemineglect and striking cataleptic posturing, more prominent in left-sided extremities, in a patient without psychiatric illness. Neuroimaging demonstrated a large posterior right hemisphere infarct involving the parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes, the insula, and caudate. Additional movement abnormalities that comprise the full catatonia syndrome were absent, including stereotypy, mannerisms, ambitendency, automatic obedience, mutism, negativism, and echopraxia. Catatonia has been reported to be produced by lesions of diverse etiology affecting the frontal lobe, limbic system, diencephalon, or basal ganglia. In these cases, catalepsy has been manifest only rarely, and motor signs that are present are generally bilateral. This case demonstrates that asymmetric catalepsy can be produced by right hemisphere stroke, and provides partial support for earlier clinical literature relating catelepsy and the parietal lobe.

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