Balint's syndrome arising from bilateral posterior cortical atrophy or infarction: rehabilitation strategies and their limitation

Disabil Rehabil. 1996 Jun;18(6):300-4. doi: 10.3109/09638289609165884.


Balint's syndrome is characterized by faulty visual scanning, dysmetria secondary to a visual perceptual deficit, and an inability to recognize more than one object at a time. We report three cases of Balint's syndrome and the individualized rehabilitation they received. One patient developed symptoms of Balint's syndrome caused by bilateral occipitoparietal infarcts. In the two other cases the symptoms arose secondary to posterior cortical atrophy, a slowly progressive dementia with alexia and agraphia. All three patients initially responded to a multicontext treatment approach with intensive verbal cueing and organizational strategies with subsequent improvement in visual recognition, reaching and scanning. Continued deterioration from posterior cortical atrophy or a second infarction resulted in worsening dementia in two patients. Cognitive remediation was required as visual perceptual rehabilitation became ineffective. Clinicians should be familiar with Balint's syndrome and its various aetiologies. Lack of awareness of this syndrome may lead to a misdiagnosis and resulting inappropriate or inadequate treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Agnosia / diagnosis
  • Agnosia / etiology
  • Agnosia / history
  • Agnosia / rehabilitation*
  • Atrophy
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Female
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Space Perception*
  • Syndrome
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / history
  • Vision Disorders / rehabilitation*