Alexia and agraphia in posterior cortical atrophy

Neuropsychiatry Neuropsychol Behav Neurol. 1997 Jan;10(1):52-9.


A 65-year-old woman with progressive visuospatial dysfunction for 2 years complained of later-onset associated memory impairment. MRI revealed diffuse cerebrocortical atrophy, which was especially severe in both parieto-occipital regions but spared the calcarine and pericalcarine cortices. Examination 5 years after onset revealed left visual hemi-neglect, oculomotor apraxia, optic ataxia, simultanagnosia, verbal alexia, lexical and spatial agraphia, and anterograde amnesia. This patient's disorder is considered in the context of previous reports on the array of cognitive disturbances associated with posterior cortical atrophy (pCA). Special emphasis is made on her reading and writing disturbances, because their prevalence and range of individual variability have not been established in pCA. This array of neuropsychological manifestations may help to distinguish among different clinical and etiological types of pCA, and to elucidate the pathophysiology of a syndrome that has been associated with conditions as diverse as Alzheimer's disease, subcortical gliosis, and prion diseases. The parameters described in our case may thus help to address these issues in clinico-pathological studies with large numbers of patients with pCA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Agraphia / complications
  • Agraphia / diagnosis
  • Agraphia / physiopathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Dyslexia, Acquired / complications
  • Dyslexia, Acquired / diagnosis
  • Dyslexia, Acquired / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Wechsler Scales