The Balint syndrome (a chaotic visual world)

The Balint syndrome is a rare neurological condition consisting of a triad of visuomotor deficits : simultanagnosia, oculomotor apraxia and optic apraxia.
Simultanagnosia is the inability to perceive objects when they are simultaneously presented (seeing the tree but not the forest). Patients with simultanagnosia see the world in pieces (piecemeal vision) and not in its integrity.
Oculomotor apraxia consists of the difficulty to direct voluntarily the gaze to an object. Optic apraxia is the condition of not being able to grasp objects by hands with the visual guidance.
Finally, the patients with the Balint syndrome act as they were blind. Their vision is a patchwork, they cannot perceive more than an object at a time or understanding complex visual scenes. They cannot move the eyes where they want and they cannot grasp the objects that they see.
The syndrome (often not recognized) is the result of bilateral ischemic strokes involving the parieto-occipital regions, interrupting the connections between primary visual areas of the occipital lobe and secondary visual areas of the parietal lobe.
Rehabilitation of patients with the Balint syndrome is extremely difficult and would be based on attempts of sensory modalities crossed interaction (visual, tactile, auditory and kinesthetic) or on virtual reality applications.
We cannot ever imagine how such a visual world this would be (seeing without perceiving).
In our cabinet we can perform complex visual assessments to diagnose the Balint Syndrome or other supramodal visual disorders.

This entry was posted in Apraxia, Cerebrovascular diseases, Cognition and Behavior, Neurorehabilitation, Stroke, visual disorders. Bookmark the permalink.

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