A wrist-walker exhibiting no "Uner Tan sydnrome": A theory for possible mechanisms of human devolution toward the atavistic walking patterns

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Tan U.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, cilt.117, sa.1, ss.147-156, 2007 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 117 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2007
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/00207450600936866
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.147-156


After discovering two families with handicapped children exhibiting the "Uner Tan syndrome," the author discovered a man exhibiting only wrist-walking with no primitive mental abilities including language. According to his mother, he had an infectious disease with high fever as a three months old baby; as a result, the left leg had been paralyzed after a penicilline injection. This paralysis most probably resulted from a viral disease, possibly poliomyelitis. He is now (2006) 36 years old; the left leg is flaccid and atrophic, with no tendon reflexes; however, sensation is normal. The boy never stood up on his feet while maturing. The father forced him to walk upright using physical devices and making due exercises, but the child always rejected standing upright and walking in erect posture; he always preferred wrist-walking; he expresses that wrist-walking is much more comfortable for him than upright-walking. He is very strong now, making daily body building exercises, and walking quite fast using a "three legs," although he cannot stand upright. Mental status, including the language and conscious experience, is quite normal. There was no intra-familiar marriage as in the two families mentioned earlier, and there is no wrist-walking in his family and relatives. There were no cerebellar signs and symptoms upon neurological examination. The brain-MRI was normal; there was no atrophy in cerebellum and vermis. It was concluded that there may be sporadic wrist-walkers exhibiting no "Uner Tan Syndrome." The results suggest that the cerebellum has nothing to do with human wrist-walking, which may rather be an atavistic trait appearing from time to time in normal individuals, indicating a live model for human reverse evolution. It was concluded that pure quadrupeds may sporadically appear due to random fluctuations in genotypes and/or environmental factors (hormonal or nutritional); the human development following the human evolution may be stopped in the stage of transition from quadrupedality to bipedality. That is, the activity of the philogenetically youngest supraspinal centers for bipedal walking responsible for suppression of the older supraspinal centers for quadrupedal gait may be interrupted at the atavistic level due to genetic and/or environmental factors. Consequently, it is assumed that these individuals prefer their natural wrist-walking to move around more quickly and efficiently.