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Complete abolition of reading and writing ability with a third ventricle colloid cyst: implications for surgical intervention and proposed neural substrates of visual recognition and visual imaging ability.

Authors
  • Barker, Lynne Ann
  • Morton, Nicholas
  • Romanowski, Charles A J
  • Gosden, Kevin
Type
Published Article
Journal
BMJ Case Reports
Publisher
BMJ
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
Volume
2013
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2013-200854
PMID: 24158300
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We report a rare case of a patient unable to read (alexic) and write (agraphic) after a mild head injury. He had preserved speech and comprehension, could spell aloud, identify words spelt aloud and copy letter features. He was unable to visualise letters but showed no problems with digits. Neuropsychological testing revealed general visual memory, processing speed and imaging deficits. Imaging data revealed an 8 mm colloid cyst of the third ventricle that splayed the fornix. Little is known about functions mediated by fornical connectivity, but this region is thought to contribute to memory recall. Other regions thought to mediate letter recognition and letter imagery, visual word form area and visual pathways were intact. We remediated reading and writing by multimodal letter retraining. The study raises issues about the neural substrates of reading, role of fornical tracts to selective memory in the absence of other pathology, and effective remediation strategies for selective functional deficits.

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