Sigbert Josef Maria Ganser (1853 – 1931) was a German psychiatrist.
Ganser is best remembered for describing ‘Ganser syndrome’ an hysterical disorder he first described in three prisoners while working at a prison in Halle (1898)
The features included approximate or nonsensical answers to simple questions, perceptual abnormalities, and clouding of consciousness
- Born 24 January 1853, Dresden Germany
- 1886 – Professor at the University in Dresden
- Died 4 January 1931
Ganser syndrome (1898)
Ganser syndrome is a rare and controversial condition, whose main and most striking feature is the production of approximate answers (or near misses) to very simple questions.
Ganser syndrome: a hysterical pseudo stupidity which occurs almost exclusively in jails and in old-fashioned German psychiatric textbooksWertham, 1949
We have been unable to locate members of his family, his papers or even a photograph of him, indeed he even has three dates of death (1923 – 1930 – 1931?) but his real death lies in the strange feast of falsification and approximate reason that has ’greeted’ his thinking.Allen, Postel. History of Psychiatry. 1994;(5):289–319.
- Ganser S. Über einen eigenartigen hysterischen Dämmerzustand. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten. 1898; 30(2): 633-640. English translation Schorer CE. ‘The Ganser syndrome: A peculiar hysterical state‘. British Journal of Criminology, 1965;5(2): 120-131
- Ilberg G. Sigbert Ganser, zum 24. Januar 1923. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten. 1923;67(1-4):357-362
- Lehmann JF. GANSER: Beilage zur Münchener medizinischen Wochenschrift. 1928 [Osler Library Prints Collection]
- Allen DF, Postel J. For S.J.M Ganser of Dresden. A much mis-represented man. History of Psychiatry. 1994;(5):289–319.
- Bibliography. Ganser, Sigbert. WorldCat Identities
- Dieguez S. Ganser Syndrome. Front Neurol Neurosci. 2018;42:1-22.
- Goldin S, McDonald JE. The Ganser state. J Ment Sci 1955; 101: 267–280
the person behind the name
Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |