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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 6 (1993), Issue 3, Pages 135-142

Completion Phenomenon in Transcortical Sensory Aphasia

Y. Nakagawa,1,6 H. Tanabe,1,2 M. Ikeda,2 H. Kazui,1 K. Ito,3 N. Inoue,4 Y. Hatakenaka,5 T. Sawada,4 H. Ikeda,5 and J. Shiraishi1

1Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Osaka University, Japan
2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University Medical School, Japan
3Department of Neuropsychiatry, Ozone Hospital, Japan
4Cerebrovascular Division, Department of Medicine, National Cardiovascular Center, Japan
5Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kochi Medical School, Japan
6Hyogo Institute for Aging Brain and Cognitive Disorders, Saisho-ko 520, Himeji, 670, Japan

Received 18 June 1993; Accepted 10 July 1993

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated completion phenomenon for proverbs in cases demonstrating transcortical sensory aphasia due to a variety of diseases. Lack of this completion was exclusively observed in patients with focal atrophy. These patients showed a selective and consistent impairment in word comprehension without phonemic cue effects in naming. The completion phenomenon was present in patients demonstrating transcortical sensory aphasia due to other cerebral diseases. In these patients, comprehension deficits were not selective for words, or words not comprehended were inconsistent and some phonemic cue effects were observed. In a previous study, we reported that completion phenomena for multiplication tables, serial numbers and names of days were frequently noted in patients with focal atrophy. Together with the present findings, these results suggest that lack of proverb completion may be attributed to a selective, systematic and complete loss of the meaning representations for language units such as words and proverbs. In addition, pathological processes of focal atrophy with temporal predominance might selectively affect the semantic memory for language as a unit.