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What is cortical hand syndrome?

Q: I am an 81 years old female, have been recently diagnosed with 'Cortical hand syndrome'. What is it and how can it be treated?

A:It will be difficult to explain "cortical hand syndrome" unless you give more details about the symptoms, for example how it began, what problems you faced initially and how it has progressed.

Nevertheless, to give you a general idea, it can be stated that this term is NOT a diagnosis but only a description that suggests that you have lost the control/functioning of your left hand due to possibly a disease process involving the parts of cerebral cortex which controls its actions. As you may be aware that different parts of brain control different activities. The brain is divided into cortex (chiefly the superficial gray matter) and deeper sub cortex (chiefly the white matter). Grey matter is the highest processing unit of our brain where all the information is processed for conscious perception as well as motor action. The cortex has areas of representation of various body parts. More complex and delicate the actions (for example, those involving fingers), the more area of representation on the cortical surface. Hence, if cortical area which controls hand movements gets dysfunctional (there can be a variety of reasons), the hand becomes useless although otherwise it may still remain apparently normal to look at.


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