The nature and treatment of phonological text agraphia

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2018 Jun;28(4):568-588. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2016.1199387. Epub 2016 Jul 8.


Phonological alexia and agraphia are written language disorders characterised by disproportionate difficulty reading and spelling nonwords in comparison to real words. In phonological alexia, it has been shown that, despite relatively accurate reading of words in isolation, text-level reading deficits are often marked and persistent. Specifically, some individuals demonstrate difficulty reading functors and affixes in sentences, a profile referred to as phonological text alexia. In this paper, we demonstrate an analogous manifestation of the phonological impairment on text-level writing and suggest the term "phonological text agraphia". We examined four individuals with phonological alexia/agraphia who also showed disproportionate difficulty writing well-formed sentences in comparison to their grammatical competence in spoken utterances. Implementation of a phonological treatment protocol resulted in significantly improved sublexical phonology skills as well as improvements in grammatical accuracy of written narratives. These findings support the notion of a common phonological impairment underlying nonword reading/spelling deficits and sentence-level difficulties.

Keywords: Agraphia; alexia; aphasia; phonological text alexia; spelling; writing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agraphia / complications
  • Agraphia / psychology*
  • Agraphia / therapy*
  • Dyslexia / complications
  • Dyslexia / psychology*
  • Dyslexia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Phonetics*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Treatment Outcome