Writing in Richardson variant of progressive supranuclear palsy in comparison to progressive non-fluent aphasia

Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2015;49(4):217-22. doi: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2015.05.004. Epub 2015 Jun 6.


Background: The overlap between progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and progressive non-fluent aphasia (PNFA) is being increasingly recognized. In this paper descriptive writing in patients with Richardson syndrome of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP-RS) is compared to writing samples from patients with PNFA.

Methods: Twenty-seven patients participated in the study: 17 with the clinical diagnosis of PSP-RS and 10 with PNFA. Untimed written picture description was administered during neuropsychological assessment and subsequently scored by two raters blinded to the clinical diagnosis. Lexical and syntactic content, as well as writing errors (e.g. omission and perseverative errors) were analyzed.

Results: In patients with PSP-RS both letter and diacritic mark omission errors were very frequent. Micrographia was present in 8 cases (47%) in PSP-RS group and in one case (10%) with PNFA. Perseverative errors did not differentiate between the groups.

Conclusions: As omission errors predominate in writing of patients with PSP-RS, writing seems to be compromised mainly because of oculomotor deficits, that may alter visual feedback while writing.

Keywords: Agraphia; Primary progressive aphasia; Progressive supranuclear palsy; Writing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Agraphia / etiology
  • Agraphia / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia / complications
  • Primary Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia / physiopathology*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / complications
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / physiopathology*