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December 1947

BALLISM AND THE SUBTHALAMIC NUCLEUS (NUCLEUS HYPOTHALAMICUS; CORPUS LUYSI)Review of the Literature and Study of Thirty Cases

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Arch NeurPsych. 1947;58(6):672-692. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300350022002
Abstract

I. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS 

Historical Development of Hemiballism.  —"Hemiballism" became associated with pathologic changes in the subthalamic nucleus (nucleus hypothalamicus; corpus Luysi) during the decade following 1920 (Jakob,1 Martin,2 von Sántha3 and Matzdorff4).That involuntary movements sometimes appeared after lesions localized in various parts of the brain had long been known. Weir Mitchell5 and Charcot6 recognized their frequent unilateral occurrence after apoplexies with the terms "posthemiplegic chorea" and "hemichorea." These terms, with the earlier contribution of "athetosis" by Hammond,7 generally sufficed to distinguish the types of movements encountered.8In the German literature, the flinging or throwing of the limbs arising from violent involvement of proximal musculature was described under the term "hemiballismus." Thus, Greidenberg9 commented:The most frequent form of posthemiplegic motor disturbance, and hence the most adequately investigated, is without doubt hemichorea (posthemiplegic or postapoplectic hemichorea, hemichorée posthemiplégique [Charcot], hemikinesia [Hughlings

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