Alexia caused by a fusiform or posterior inferior temporal lesion

Y Sakurai, S Takeuchi, T Takada, E Horiuchi, H Nakase, M Sakuta
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2000 September 1, 178 (1): 42-51
We evaluated the alexia and agraphia of three patients with different lesions using Japanese kanji (morphograms) and kana (phonograms) and made a lesion-to-symptom analysis. Patient 1 (pure alexia for both kanji and kana and minor agraphia for kanji after a fusiform lesion) made more paragraphic errors for kanji, whereas patient 2 (alexia with agraphia for kanji after a posterior inferior temporal lesion) showed severe reading and writing disturbances and more agraphic errors for kanji. Brodmann Area 37 was affected in both patients, but in patient 2 the lesion was located lateral to that in patient 1. Patient 3 showed agraphia without alexia after restricted lesion to the angular gyrus. We believe that pure alexia (patient 1) results from a disconnection between the medial fusiform gyrus and posterior inferior temporal area (the lateral fusiform and inferior temporal gyri), whereas alexia with agraphia for kanji (patient 2), corresponding to lexical agraphia in Western countries, results from damage to the posterior inferior temporal area, in which whole-word images of words are thought to be stored. Furthermore, restricted lesion in the angular gyrus (patient 3) does not produce alexia; the alexic symptom of "angular" alexia with agraphia may be the result of damage to the adjacent lateral occipital gyri.

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