Gerstmann Syndrome

Gerstmann Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by the loss of the abilities to express thoughts in writing, solve simple arithmetic problems, distinguish one's own or another’s fingers, and differentiate one’s left and right sides. Patients who present with these four classical cognitive deficiencies are classified as having “pure” Gerstmann Syndrome. Other cases may also present with two or three of the classical symptoms with other kinds of cognitive deficiencies such as difficulties in understanding and/or expressing speech, reading, and spelling.

Among children, the exact cause is still unknown; some cases have been linked to brain damage while others with no brain damage have also been affected. Among adults, this is often attributed to the reduced blood flow to the brain. Specifically, the parietal lobes, which are responsible for sensation and perception, are affected. This syndrome was first described in 1924 by Josef Gerstmann, a Jewish Austrian-born American neurologist.

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