[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 1971

Gerstmann's Syndrome

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(5):475. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480350109012

WHEN THE concept of cerebral localization was first established at the end of the 19th century, numerous cerebral "centers" for a wide variety of mental functions were described.1-4 Subsequently, it has become apparent that the localization of the psyche is not so simple, but nevertheless, several disorders of mental function have persisted in neurological texts as indicators of pathological lesions in specific cerebral areas. One of these syndromes, the peculiar combination of finger agnosia, right-left confusion, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia, as described by Josef Gerstmann5-10 and others,11 has come to signify involvement of the posterior portion of the dominant parietal lobe.

Josef Gerstmann, born in 1887, spent the first half of his professional career in Vienna, where he rose to become Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University and Director of the Institute of Nervous Diseases at the Maria-Theresien-Schlössel. In 1938, he fled to the