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History of Neurology
September 2003

Balint Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Service de Neurologie et Neuropsychologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, and Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche, Université Pierre Mendes France, Grenoble.



Arch Neurol. 2003;60(9):1329-1331. doi:10.1001/archneur.60.9.1329

In 1954, Hécaen and De Ajuriaguerra1 proposed the term Balint syndrome to honor the Hungarian neurologist's 1909 description.2,3 The syndrome is also sometimes called Balint-Holmes syndrome, to emphasize the role played by Gordon Holmes (1876-1965).4 Traditionally considered a rare occurrence, Balint syndrome usually affects the posterior parietal lobes bilaterally, and has been described after various conditions (mainly vascular, demyelinating, or infectious diseases).5 It is now increasingly recognized as a manifestation of degenerative dementia or Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.6 While the interpretations of the cardinal symptoms may have changed during the last century, the initial descriptions of Balint and Holmes continue to be unequalled in their authoritative detail.