Gerstmann's Syndrome

Gerstmann's syndrome is a neurologic disorder. This syndrome can occur in both children and adults.

CAUSES

Causes are not known in children. In adults, the syndrome may occur:

  • After a stroke.

  • After damage to the parietal lobe.

SYMPTOMS

There are 4 main symptoms of Gerstmann's syndrome:

  • A writing disability (agraphia or dysgraphia).

  • A lack of understanding of the rules for calculation or math (acalculia or dyscalculia).

  • An inability to distinguish right from left.

  • An inability to identify fingers (finger agnosia).

Additionally, many adults experience aphasia. This is difficulty expressing oneself when speaking, understanding speech, and understanding when reading and writing.

In children, most cases are identified at school age. This is a time when children are challenged with writing and math exercises. This disorder may affect children with a high level of intellectual functioning as well as those with brain damage.

TREATMENT

There is no cure for this disorder. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Occupational and speech therapies may help reduce the dysgraphia and apraxia.