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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 19 (2008), Issue 3, Pages 93-106

Agraphia for Kanji Resulting From a Left Posterior Middle Temporal Gyrus Lesion

Yasuhisa Sakurai, Imari Mimura, and Toru Mannen

Department of Neurology, Mitsui Memorial Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

Received 8 July 2008; Accepted 8 July 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. 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.


Objective: To clarify whether agraphia or alexia occurs in lesions of the left posterior middle temporal gyrus.

Methods: We assessed the reading and writing abilities of two patients with this lesion using kanji (Japanese morphograms) and kana (Japanese syllabograms).

Results: Patient 1 first presented with pure alexia more impaired for kana after an infarction in the left middle and inferior occipital gyri and right basal occipital cortex, and after a second infarction in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus adjoining the first lesion he showed alexia with agraphia for kanji and worsened alexia for kana; kanji alexia recovered over the following six to 10 months. Patient 2 presented with alexia with agraphia for kanji following a hemorrhage in the left posterior middle and inferior temporal gyri, which resolved to agraphia for kanji at two months after onset. Kana nonword reading was also slightly impaired, but became normal by six months post-onset. In both patients, kanji agraphia was mostly due to impaired character recall.

Conclusion: The present patients demonstrate that damage to the left posterior middle temporal gyrus alone can cause agraphia for kanji. If the adjacent mid fusiform/inferior temporal gyri (Area 37) are spared, the kanji alexia is transient.