Gerstmann’s syndrome is a cognitive impairment that arises due to the damage at the left parietal lobe in the region of the angular gyrus of the brain. A stroke or any kind of damage to the parietal lobe can lead to this syndrome.
The primary symptoms that help in characterizing this syndrome include writing disability, lack of understanding of the rules for calculation or arithmetic, inability to distinguish between right from left and an inability to identify the fingers. Apart from these symptoms, some adults may even experience aphasia, in which the person is not able to speak, read or write.
It is known as developmental Gerstmann’s syndrome in children. Although the cause of the syndrome is not known, in most cases it is identified when the children reach school age and they face difficulties in writing and doing math exercises.
Children with this disorder generally exhibit poor handwriting and spelling skills and understanding math functions. Another apparent symptom is the inability to differentiate right from left. The common symptoms that children have are suffering from constructional apraxia, an inability to copy simple drawings. Besides, there is also impairment in reading and writing. Children with a high level of intellectual functioning as well as those with brain damage may be affected with the disorder.
There is no cure for Gerstmann's syndrome. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Occupational and speech therapies may help diminish the dysgraphia and apraxia. In addition, calculators and word processors may help school children cope with the symptoms of the disorder. A promosing work has been done to improve the finger gnosis through training exercises that help to improve the mathematical skills of the young children.
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