Gerstmann syndrome

Gerstmann syndrome


Caption = Principal fissures and lobes of the cerebrum viewed laterally. (Parietal lobe is shown in yellow)
DiseasesDB = 30728
ICD10 = ICD10|F|81|2|f|80
ICD9 = ICD9|784.69
MedlinePlus =
eMedicineSubj =
eMedicineTopic =

Gerstmann syndrome is a neurological disorder that is characterized by a constellation of symptoms that suggests the presence of a lesion in a particular area of the brain. (It should not be confused with Gerstmann-Straussler syndrome, which is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.)

It is named for Josef Gerstmann. [WhoNamedIt|synd|2267]

Primary symptoms

Gerstmann syndrome is characterized by four primary symptoms:
# Dysgraphia/agraphia
# Dyscalculia/acalculia
# Finger agnosia
# Left-right disorientation


This disorder is often associated with brain lesions in the dominant (usually left) side of the angular and supramarginal gyri near the temporal and parietal lobe junction. There is significant debate in the scientific literature as to whether Gerstmann Syndrome truly represents a unified, theoretically motivated syndrome. Thus its diagnostic utility has been questioned by neurologists and neuropsychologists alike.

In adults

In adults, the syndrome may occur after a stroke or in association with damage to the parietal lobe.

In addition to exhibiting the above symptoms, many adults also experience aphasia, which is a difficulty in expressing oneself when speaking, in understanding speech, or in reading and writing.

In children

There are few reports of the syndrome, sometimes called developmental Gerstmann syndrome, in children. The cause is not known. Most cases are identified when children reach school age, a time when they are challenged with writing and math exercises. Generally, children with the disorder exhibit poor handwriting and spelling skills, and difficulty with math functions, including adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. An inability to differentiate right from left and to discriminate among individual fingers may also be apparent. In addition to the four primary symptoms, many children also suffer from constructional apraxia, an inability to copy simple drawings. Frequently, there is also an impairment in reading. Children with a high level of intellectual functioning as well as those with brain damage may be affected with the disorder.


There is no cure for Gerstmann syndrome. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Occupational and speech therapies may help diminish the dysgraphia and apraxia. In addition, calculators and word processors may help school children cope with the symptoms of the disorder.


In adults, many of the symptoms diminish over time. Although it has been suggested that in children symptoms may diminish over time, it appears likely that most children probably do not overcome their deficits, but learn to adjust to them.




External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Gerstmann syndrome — noun A neurological disorder characterized by a constellation of symptoms that suggest the presence of a lesion in a particular area of the brain …   Wiktionary

  • Gerstmann syndrome — a combination of finger agnosia, right left disorientation, agraphia, acalculia, and often constructional apraxia; it was formerly attributed to a lesion in the angular gyrus of the dominant hemisphere, but now that etiology is in doubt …   Medical dictionary

  • Gerstmann-Strдussler syndrome — Gerstmann Strдussler Scheinker syndrome (GSS) a group of rare prion diseases, of autosomal dominant inheritance but linked to different mutations of the prion protein gene, having the common characteristics of cognitive and motor disturbances… …   Medical dictionary

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  • Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome — Gerst·mann Sträuss·ler Schein·ker syndrome gerst mən s(h)trȯis lər shīŋ kər n a rare spongiform encephalopathy that is related to Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, is marked by ataxia, dementia, and by accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain, and… …   Medical dictionary

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  • Gerstmann-Syndrom — Als Gerstmann Syndrom wird ein Symptom Komplex bezeichnet, der erstmals von Josef Gerstmann im Jahre 1924 beschrieben wurde. Er besteht aus: Agraphie (Schwierigkeiten beim Schreiben, die nicht auf motorische Störungen oder Intelligenzminderungen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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