Jargon agraphia in a case with Broca aphasia: Dissociation between language and writing dominancy

Kyoko Suzuki, Atsushi Yamadori, Keiko Endo, Toshikatsu Fujii

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1 Citation (Scopus)


A 69-year-old left-handed man developed Broca aphasia and jargon agraphia following a right cerebral infarction. He learned to write with his right hand. There is no family history of left-handedness. Neurological examination revealed hemiparesis, sensory impairment, and hyperreflexia with pathological reflexes on the left side. An MRI demonstrated lesions in the area including the pre- and post-central gyri, the posterior part of middle and inferior frontal gyri, and inferior parietal lobule on the right side. Neuropsychologically he was alert and cooperative. He demonstrated severe Broca aphasia and his verbal output was limited to a few residual words. On the other hand, he could communicate through writing Kanji words. Writing words was relatively preserved with Kanji but not with Kana characters. Asked to write a Japanese folk tale, he showed jargon agraphia mixed with some correct Kanji words. His comprehension of spoken and written sentences was well preserved. He showed mild ideomotor and buccofacial apraxia, left unilateral spatial neglect, and constructional impairment. Dissociation between spoken and written language is a prominent feature of this patient's language output. In this patient, right hemisphere seems to be dominant for language and praxis, and left hemisphere for motor engram of writing. Learning to write with the right hand may have enhanced the establishment and maintenance of motor engram for writing in the left hemisphere. The intact motor engram of characters in the left hemisphere could be retrieved by the right hand without control from the language area in the diseased right hemisphere, resulting in jargon agraphia especially with Kana characters. In left handed people, the hand with which they learn to write may effect interhemispheric lateralization of language functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Jargon agraphia
  • Kana
  • Lateralization
  • Left-handedness
  • Right hemisphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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