HISTORY OF NEUROLOGY SECTION EDITOR: CHRISTOPHER G. GOETZ, MD Olivier Moreaud, MD n 1954, He´caen and De Ajuriaguerra proposed the term Balint syndrome to honor the Hun- 2,3 garian neurologist’s 1909 description. The syndrome is also sometimes called Balint- Holmes syndrome, to emphasize the role played by Gordon Holmes (1876-1965). Tradi- I tionally considered a rare occurrence, Balint syndrome usually affects the posterior parietal lobes bilaterally, and has been described after various conditions (mainly vascular, demyelinating, or infectious diseases). It is now increasingly recognized as a manifestation of degenerative de- mentia or Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease. While the interpretations of the cardinal symptoms may have changed during the last century, the initial descriptions of Balint and Holmes continue to be un- equalled in their authoritative detail. BALINT AND THE The stimulus elicited by any object in the vi- sual field is transmitted to the cortex. The pa- TRIPLE-SYMPTOM COMPLEX tient does not see consciously these images be- 2 cause his attention is focalized on only one of In his 1909 article (a German rewriting of them. a previous article in Hungarian, published in1907 ),Reszo¨ (Rudolf)Balint(1874-1929) Spatial Disorder of Attention describedapatientwithanunusualandstrik- ingdisturbanceofvisionandmovement.He identified the triple-symptom complex that Balintdescribed“fatigabilityofattention,that constitutesthecorefeaturesofthesyndrome. cannot be distributed
JAMA Neurology – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 2003
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