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May 1963

The Developmental Gerstmann Syndrome

Arch Neurol. 1963;8(5):490-501. doi:10.1001/archneur.1963.00460050040004

The Gerstmann syndrome7 (finger agnosia, right-left disorientation, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia) has long been recognized as indicative of disease of the parietal lobe of the dominant hemisphere and appears to be due to impairment of a basic physiological function involving sequential ordering.13,14 The question arises as to whether this syndrome may appear in children on a developmental basis, and if so, what effect it has on their acquisition of educational skills. It therefore becomes important to establish diagnostic criteria for the syndrome in children. The problem revolves around the definition of finger agnosia in childhood.

Finger agnosia, as conventionally elicited,7 is difficult to diagnose in childhood. Normal children are not necessarily able to name their fingers, and failure on an unstandardized task involving the names of the fingers is of doubtful significance. As the presence of finger agnosia is essential to the diagnosis of the Gerstmann syndrome, this

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