Acquired agraphia caused by focal brain damage

Acta Psychol (Amst). 1993 Mar;82(1-3):193-210. doi: 10.1016/0001-6918(93)90012-g.


Motor and linguistic aspects of writing were evaluated in 31 subjects with focal damage in 1 of 3 regions of the left hemisphere: (1) dorsolateral frontal lobe sparing primary motor cortex (group FL), (2) parietal lobe (group PL), or (3) temporal lobe (group TL). A standard procedure was used to evaluate writing for grapheme formation, spatial arrangement, spelling, word selection, grammar, and perseveration. It was predicted that agraphia would be observed in all 3 groups, and that the most severe impairments would be associated with frontal lobe damage, particularly in aspects of writing dependent on sequencing (grapheme formation, spelling, and grammar). It was found that agraphia was common in all groups, particularly in the acute epoch, and that all groups showed considerable recovery of writing by the chronic epoch. Few differences were found between groups. However, the FL group was impaired on spelling and grammar relative to the PL group in the acute epoch and impaired on grammar relative to the TL group in the chronic epoch. The findings are consistent with the notion that writing relies on a distributed neuroanatomical network, which acts in concert to link fragments of visuomotor activity with component linguistic elements.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agraphia / physiopathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Muscles / innervation*
  • Neuropsychological Tests