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      Mirror Writing and a Dissociative Identity Disorder

      1 , 2 , 2 , *
      Case Reports in Medicine
      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Individuals with dissociative identity disorder (DID) have been known to show varied skills and talents as they change from one dissociative state to another. For example, case reports have described people who have changed their handedness or have spoken foreign languages during their dissociative states. During an interview with a patient with DID, a surprising talent emerged when she wrote a sentence for the Folstein Mini-Mental State Exam—mirror writing. It is not known whether her mirror writing had a deeper level of meaning; however, it does emphasize the idiosyncratic nature of dissociative identity disorder.

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          Most cited references8

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          Mirror writing: neurological reflections on an unusual phenomenon.

          G. Schott (2006)
          Mirror writing is an unusual script, in which the writing runs in the opposite direction to normal, with individual letters reversed, so that it is most easily read using a mirror. This writing is seen in healthy individuals; it is also associated with various focal lesions that most commonly involve the left hemisphere, as well as with certain diffuse cerebral disorders. Mirror writing is nearly always undertaken with the left hand, and left-handers, and those whose languages are written leftwards, have an unusual facility for this writing. Concerning possible underlying processes, the implications of using the left hand when writing are considered first. Motor pathways that may be important, the surrogate model of bimanual mirror movements and the contribution of the corpus callosum are then discussed. The reasons why left-handed writing is mirrored, and the factors that tend to inhibit mirroring, are outlined. After commenting on mirrored motor and visual engrams, the possibility that the right hemisphere may play an important part is entertained, and Leonardo da Vinci's unique, habitual mirror writing proves to be of unexpected relevance. Further investigations, ranging from epidemiological to functional imaging studies, may provide valuable insights into mirror writing.
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            Dissociative identity disorder: Theoretical and treatment controversies

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              Dissociative identity disorder associated with mania and change in handedness.

              To investigate the overlap between dissociative and bipolar disorders with reference to their neurophysiological foundations. Case reports of anomalous lateralization and shifts in handedness associated with both affective and dissociative conditions have intermittently surfaced in the literature. The two disorders are, however, usually considered to be distinct psychopathological entities. A case of co-occurring bipolar disorder and dissociative identity disorder (DID) is presented. The "switch" in personality coincided with manic or hypomanic symptoms and was associated with a change in handedness. A parallel between the "personality" shifts that characterize DID and the mood fluctuations that underlie bipolar disorder is drawn, suggesting some nosological overlap between the two disorders. The possibility that these two psychiatric conditions share a similar neurophysiological architecture is also raised.

                Author and article information

                Case Report Med
                Case Reports in Medicine
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                26 October 2009
                : 2009
                : 814292
                1Department of Neurology at the University of California, Davis, 4860 Y Street, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA
                2Psychiatric Consultation Service, Baystate Medical Center, 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01199, USA
                Author notes

                Recommended by Linda Gonder-Frederick

                Copyright © 2009 Catherine Le et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 8 July 2009
                : 25 August 2009
                Case Report



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