A case of crossed aphasia with echolalia after the resection of tumor in the right medial frontal lobe

K. Endo, K. Suzuki, A. Yamadori, T. Kumabe, K. Seki, T. Fujii

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Abstract

We report a right-handed woman, who developed a non-fluent aphasia after resection of astrocytoma (grade III) in the right medial frontal lobe. On admission to the rehabilitation department, neurological examination revealed mild left hemiparesis, hyperreflexia on the left side and grasp reflex on the left hand. Neuropsychologically she showed general inattention, non-fluent aphasia, acalculia, constructional disability, and mild buccofacial apraxia. No other apraxia, unilateral spatial neglect or extinction phenomena were observed. An MRI demonstrated resected areas in the right superior frontal gyrus, subcortical region in the right middle frontal gyrus, anterior part of the cingulate gyrus, a part of supplementary motor area. Surrounding area in the fight frontal lobe showed diffuse signal change. She demonstrated non-fluent aprosodic speech with word finding difficulty. No phonemic paraphasia, or anarthria was observed. Auditory comprehension was fair with some difficulty in comprehending complex commands. Naming was good, but verbal fluency tests for a category or phonemic cuing was severely impaired. She could repeat words but not sentences. Reading comprehension was disturbed by semantic paralexia and writing words was poor for both Kana (syllabogram) and Kanji (logogram) characters. A significant feature of her speech was mitigated echolalia. In both free conversation and examination setting, she often repeated phrases spoken to her which she used to start her speech. In addition, she repeated words spoken to others which were totally irrelevant to her conversation. She was aware of her echoing, which always embarrassed her. She described her echolaiic tendency as a great nuisance. However, once echoing being forbidden, she could not initiate her speech and made incorrect responses after long delay. Thus, her compulsive echolalia helped to start her speech. Only four patients with crossed aphasia demonstrated echolaiia in the literature. They showed severe aphasia with markedly decreased speech and severe comprehension deficit. A patient with a similar lesion in the right medial frontal lobe had aspontaneity in general and language function per se could not be examined properly. Echolalia related to the medial frontal lesion in the language dominant hemisphere was described as a compulsive speech response, because some other 'echoing' phenomena or compulsive behavior were also observed in these patients. On the other hand, some patients with a large lesion in the right hemisphere tended to respond to stimuli directed to other patients, so called 'response-to-next-patient-stimulation'. This behavior was explained by disinhibited shift of attention or perseveration of the set. Both compulsive speech responses and 'response-to-next-patient-stimulation' like phenomena may have contributed to the echolalia phenomena of the present case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Nerve
Volume53
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Compulsive behavior
  • Crossed aphasia
  • Echolalia
  • Right hemisphere syndrome
  • Supplementary motor area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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