Anton Syndrome

Never heard of it. Tell me more.

Anton syndrome, also known as Anton-Babinski syndrome and visual anosognosia, is a rare symptom of brain damage occurring in the occipital lobe. Those who have it are cortically blind, but affirm, often quite adamantly and in the face of clear evidence of their blindness, that they are capable of seeing. Failing to accept being blind, people with Anton syndrome dismiss evidence of their condition and employ confabulation to fill in the missing sensory input. It is named after the neurologist Gabriel Anton. Only 28 cases have been published.

Don’t laugh. It’s a genuine medical condition and it’s not funny.

Although the diagnosis sounds quite funny.

Though the patient is blind, they will behave and talk as if they have normal vision. Attention is aroused, however, when the patient is found to collide with pieces of furniture, to fall over objects, and to experience difficulty in finding their way around. They may try to walk through a wall or a closed door on their way from one room to another. Suspicion is still further alerted when they begin to describe people and objects around them which, as a matter of fact, are not there at all.

OK. Now you can laugh.

Even more incredibly than this, all of the 28 cases described listed their employment as football referees in Sheffield United matches.