Phonological agraphia after superior temporal gyrus infarction

Arch Neurol. 2002 Aug;59(8):1314-6. doi: 10.1001/archneur.59.8.1314.


Background: Phonological agraphia refers to a condition in which the ability to write nonwords to dictation is impaired, while writing words to dictation is preserved, as is oral repetition of the words and nonwords. This condition has been regarded as reflecting a disconnection within the phonological writing system, and previous neurolinguistic correlations suggested that the anterior-inferior supramarginal gyrus was a crucial link within the system.

Setting: A neurology department of a university hospital.

Patient: A 51-year-old right-handed man presented with speech disturbances. On initial evaluation of his language, his deficit was consistent with that of conduction aphasia, which improved rapidly to an apparently normal level. A subsequent detailed examination of oral and written repetition of words and nonwords revealed a rather selective form of phonological agraphia. A magnetic resonance imaging scan of his brain showed a focal ischemic lesion at the left posterior superior temporal gyrus and at the underlying white matter.

Conclusions: In contrast to most previously described patients, this patient showed a selective impairment of phonological agraphia in association with a focal infarction restricted to the left posterior superior temporal gyrus, suggesting that this region of the brain is an important node within a wider network of areas that subserve the phonological route for writing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agraphia / etiology*
  • Agraphia / pathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications*
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Voice Disorders / etiology
  • Voice Disorders / pathology