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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2004 Sep;106(4):337-9.

Aphemia-like syndrome from a right supplementary motor area lesion.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Reed Neurological Research Center, University of California at Los Angeles, Neurobehavior Unit (116AF), VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA.


Lesions in the left supplementary motor area (SMA) can result in a transcortical motor aphasia with nonfluent spontaneous verbal output and relatively preserved repetition. Reading and writing are proportionally affected. We report a patient with an ischemic lesion in the right SMA. He had impaired articulation and normal repetition plus preserved reading and writing, consistent with an aphemia. This patient supports the dissociation of articulatory fluency and linguistic fluency and suggests that both SMAs affect the initiating of articulatory movements required to produce words whereas the left SMA also affects linguistic aspects of speech.

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