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J Korean Med Sci. 2002 Feb;17(1):91-5.

Hanja alexia with agraphia after left posterior inferior temporal lobe infarction: a case study.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-dong, Kangnam-ku, Seoul 135-710, Korea.

Abstract

Korean written language is composed of ideogram (Hanja) and phonogram (Hangul), as Japanese consists of Kanji (ideogram) and Kana (phonogram). Dissociation between ideogram and phonogram impairment after brain injury has been reported in Japanese, but few in Korean. We report a 64-yr-old right-handed man who showed alexia with agraphia in Hanja but preserved Hangul reading and writing after a left posterior inferior temporal lobe infarction. Interestingly, the patient was an expert in Hanja; he had been a Hanja calligrapher over 40 yr. However, when presented with 65 basic Chinese letters that are taught in elementary school, his responses were slow both in reading (6.3 sec/letter) and writing (8.8 sec/letter). The rate of correct response was 81.5% (53 out of 65 letters) both in reading and writing. The patient's performances were beyond mean-2SD of those of six age-, sex-, and education-matched controls who correctly read 64.7 out of 65 and wrote 62.5 out of 65 letters with a much shorter reaction time (1.3 sec/letter for reading and 4.0 sec/letter for writing). These findings support the notion that ideogram and phonogram can be mediated in different brain regions and Hanja alexia with agraphia in Korean patients can be associated with a left posterior inferior temporal lesion.

PMID:
11850596
PMCID:
PMC3054822
DOI:
10.3346/jkms.2002.17.1.91
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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