A lesion in the subthalamus often leads to sudden
flailing movements of an entire limb, a condition called
Hemiballismus is usually characterized by involuntary flinging motions of the extremities. The movements are often violent and have wide amplitudes of motion. They are continuous and random and can involve proximal and/or distal muscles on one side of the body. Some cases even include the facial muscles. It is common for arms and legs to move together. The more a patient is active, the more the movements increase. With relaxation comes a decrease in movements. Physicians can measure the severity of the disorder by having the patient perform a series of basic, predetermined tasks and counting the hemiballistic movements during a set time session. The physicians then rate the patient on a severity scale. This scale gives scientists and clinicians a way to compare patients and determine the range of the disorder.