'Bálint's syndrome' and associated visuospatial disorders

Baillieres Clin Neurol. 1993 Aug;2(2):415-37.


There are several objections to the need for the designation 'Bálint's syndrome'. The full syndrome is generally associated with a wide variety of behavioural disturbances outside Bálint's original triad that may confound the interpretation of their supposed defect. It embeds itself in the hemineglect syndrome, violating the principle of autonomy for a syndrome. Individual components of the triad, particularly simultanagnosia, may represent relatively broad categories that subsume other combinations of defects of widely different degrees of severity. The diagnosis fails to predict a consistent site of anatomical impairment, and the main proposed mechanism is not sound. Our experience with a registry of patients with focal brain lesions and well-documented behavioural impairments (Palca, 1990), now numbering over 1500 individuals, tends to support these generalizations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agnosia / pathology
  • Apraxias / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Space Perception*
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vision Disorders / pathology*