Callosal Motor Impersistence: A Novel Disconnection Syndrome

Congratulations Dr. Heilman on the publication of “Callosal Motor Impersistence: A Novel Disconnection Syndrome,” in the June edition of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology.


Motor impersistence, an inability to sustain a certain position or movement, is a motor-intentional disorder, caused more often by right than left hemisphere lesions. Since the right hemisphere is dominant for mediating motor persistence, callosal lesions that disconnect the left hemisphere from the right may induce impersistence of the right upper and lower limbs. After an undiagnosed left callosal infarction, a 65-year-old right-handed man suddenly developed a transient loss of volitional movement of his left leg. Five days after onset, he was admitted to our hospital with signs of callosal disconnection: left-hand agraphia and apraxia, left-hand tactile anomia, failures on cross-replication of hand postures, and intermanual conflict. He had neither weakness nor ataxia of his upper or lower extremities, but when asked to keep his arms or legs extended he could not maintain his right arm and leg in the extended position, suggesting motor impersistence in his dominant limbs. When we examined him 3 months after onset, the motor impersistence had disappeared. In conclusion, motor impersistence of dominant limbs can result from isolated callosal injury that disconnects the left hemisphere from the right hemisphere’s frontal-subcortical networks