Apraxic agraphia: An insight into the writing disturbances of posterior aphasias.
ABSTRACT Reading and writing disturbances are common accompaniments of aphasia following brain damage. However, impaired writing in the absence of apparent primary linguistic disturbances is infrequently reported in the literature.
A 67-year-old right-handed subject underwent neurological, neuroradiological, and linguistic investigations following development of a minimal right upper limb weakness.
The patient had polycythemia and the neurological investigation revealed right upper limb paresis. The neuroradiological investigation revealed hypodense areas involving the gray-white matter of the left postero-parietal and frontal lobe, left caudate and lentiform nuclei, and the anterior limb of the internal capsule, suggesting an infarct. The linguistic investigation revealed a mild anomic aphasia with apraxic agraphia. This mild anomic aphasia resulted primarily from the relatively poor scores on the verbal fluency tests.
The marked writing impairment, even with the left hand, points to disturbances in written output - apraxic agraphia - in the presence of near-normal spoken output. This finding should raise suspicion about hidden apraxic agraphia in subjects with posterior aphasias.