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May 1994

Finger Agnosia: Fiction or Reality?

Author Affiliations

Veruno, Italy
Third Neurological Department University of Milan S Paolo Hospital Via di Rudini 8 20142 Milan, Italy

Arch Neurol. 1994;51(5):448-450. doi:10.1001/archneur.1994.00540170020009

Finger agnosia (FA) may be broadly defined as a finger recognition deficit.1,2 Bilateral FA has been described in association with right-left disorientation, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia as the core of Gerstmann's syndrome.3 Although considerable skepticism has been expressed with regard to this association,4,5 it has recently received renewed attention in modern neurology textbooks6 as well as in the literature.7

The existence of FA as an isolated phenomenon, not depending on other disorders such as sensory defects,8 autotopagnosia,9 aphasia,10 general mental impairment,11 or spatial disorientation,12 is worth reporting since the debate as to whether FA canbe a "primary" deficit2,13,14 is still open.15

The issue has been recently reappraised7 following the demonstration that stimulation of specific cortical areas can elicit FA, unaccompanied by other defects.16

A 52-year-old right-handed housewife with 5 years of education suffered a sudden, isolated, complete

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