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March 1984

Right Cerebral Hemispheric Dysfunction

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester Medical Center 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester, NY 14642
University of North Dakota School of Medicine Fargo, ND 58102
Moorhead State University Moorhead, MN 56560

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(3):248-250. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050150026005

To the Editor.  —The recent article by Weintraub and Mesulam1 described a series of 14 adolescent and adult patients suffering from a right cerebral hemispheric dysfunction syndrome associated with learning difficulties and long-term social-emotional disturbances, including symptomatology of chronic depression. We recently described2,3 neurologic and neuropsychological findings from a group of children who fulfilled DSM-III4 criteria for major childhood depressive disorder and possessed deficits in right cerebral hemispheric function, similar to those observed by Weintraub and Mesulam, including various neurologic signs of left-sided sensorimotor dysfunction, such as abnormal posturing of the left arm during complex gait maneuvers, a left extensor plantar response, pronation drift of the outstretched left arm, external rotation of the left leg while lying in a supine position, and asymmetric muscle stretch reflexes.3,5,6Repeated neuropsychologic testing during tricyclic antidepressant treatment showed marked improvement in cognitive functioning, particularly that of the right hemisphere.3

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