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Int J Neurosci. 2006 May;116(5):653-63.

Dysexecutive agraphia: a major executive dysfunction sign.

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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33199, USA.


Different types of writing disorders associated with brain pathology have been described. Limited mention the writing disturbances associated with prefrontal pathology, however, is found. Clinical observations of patients not only with focal prefrontal pathology but also with other conditions affecting the frontal system (e.g., traumatic head injury, dementia) confirm the assumption that these patients present an overt decrease in the ability to express ideas in writing. It is proposed that complex aspects of writing, such as planning, narrative coherence, and maintained attention, are significantly disturbed in cases of impairments of executive functions. Frontal lobe patients not only have difficulties in keeping the effort required for writing, but also to organize the ideas in the written texts. The term dysexecutive agraphia is proposed to refer to this writing disorder. Three illustrative cases are presented. It is finally suggested that questions regarding the ability to write should be included in dementia questionnaires and executive functioning testing.

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