Visual-spatial agnosis, praxis deficits and hallucinations can be the features of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in the early period. This study describes a 15-year-old boy with SSPE presenting with visual agnosia, prosopagnosia, simultanagnosia, optic ataxia, and oculomotor apraxia which are compatible with Balint syndrome. MRI revealed heterogenous and abnormal signal changes in the bilateral parieto-occipital areas. The signals were more prominent on the left. The case discussed herein is important because he was diagnosed as Balint's syndrome by means of clinical and neuroradiological findings before the onset of known symptomatology as dementia/myoclonus of SSPE. The case is also illustrative of the need to emphasize the prompt evaluation of a patient's cortical features before clinical progression becomes apparent. This evaluation should be performed in the early period if correct diagnosis is to be reached. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.