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April 1964

Studies in Asterixis Part I

Arch Neurol. 1964;10(4):360-368. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460160030002

Although the sudden flap, or lapse of posture, known as "asterixis" has become familiar as a distinct entity, its classic descriptions have always encompassed more than one form of abnormality.

In 1949 Adams and Foley1 described a "fixed tremor state" in certain patients with liver disease.

Two years later the same authors referred to the phenomena as a "motor disturbance—so unique that it merits a more complete description" (Adams and Foley, 1951).2 They then suggested that two abnormalities existed, one a "tremor" and the other a "lapse of posture," which they called asterixis.

Their description of an electromyographic record suggests a possible interrelationship between the tremor and flap.

Davidson,4 writing in 1955, used the term "tremor," as Adams and Foley1 had in 1949, to describe "an arrhythmic, rapid flexion and then restoration...." He described the associated abnormality as an "irregular lateral movement" that often appeared before

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