By. Allen Chavez


     The alien hand syndrome, a syndrome that is rare, but we can all get. Many of us have not heard of this due to its rarity but it can arise after trauma to the brain, after brain surgery or after a stroke or an infection to the brain. It begins with the ability to still feel sensation in the affected hand, but beliefs that the hand is not part of their body. Shortly they lose control over the hand’s movement, almost as if it belongs to an alien.


     According to Riley Weilder, a patient of this syndrome, he started to notice that his left hand seemed to shake and other times he would be holding a beer and his grip would inexplicably loosen. But he didn’t think this was a big issue. He thought it was “muscle weakness from being bedridden for so long.” The trembling in his hand continued to increase but the weakness in his hand disappeared. He said, “Everything changed one Monday morning when I stepped out the door I noticed that my left hand still held onto the bar soap. My hand refused to release its vice (very strong, secure hold) like grip.” He had lost control of his hand and he wasn’t able to do anything about it.


     There is no cure for this syndrome, though people can manage the symptoms by training the hand. Riley says, “I have contemplated amputating my hand. Maybe then I can rejoin society and lead a normal life.” Since there is no cure for this syndrome amputation may be the only way to cure this as of right now.