What is the definition of Anton Syndrome?
Anton Syndrome, also known as Anton-Babinski Syndrome, is a very rare neurological condition characterized by cortical blindness, in which the person denies their loss of vision. Their denial of vision loss is accompanied by confabulation, or the condition of relating memories and events they never experienced or had. The person is unaware that they are confabulating, believing what they say to be true. The loss of vision is due to insult to the occipital (lower back) cortex of the brain and is due to an abnormality or damage in the brain rather than the eyes. The most common cause is hemorrhage or stroke involving both occipital lobes of the brain and the posterior cerebral arteries. Other causes include complications from cardiac surgery, angiography, encephalopathy (brain disease), preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy) or maternal hemorrhage during birth, head trauma, autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system, dystrophy (wasting diseases), HIV infection, and multiple sclerosis.
What are the symptoms for Anton Syndrome?
Even though the person is blind, he or she will behave and talk as if they have normal vision. They may demonstrate mental confusion and describe items and people that do not exist or events that never occurred, while providing excuses for their blindness in attempts to prove that they are not blind (confabulation). However, they will bump into walls and furniture, and through denial of their vision loss endanger themselves.
What are the current treatments for Anton Syndrome?
Treatment of Anton-Babinski Syndrome is based on its cause. If caused by a stroke, then antiplatelet therapy is administered, while any cardiovascular conditions should be assessed and treated as well. For some causes of this syndrome visual function has recovered, and treating the underlying condition that caused the syndrome may resolve it.