• Alexic Anomia

    (Alexia; Word Blindness; Text Blindness; Visual Aphasia)


    Alexic anomia happens when you lose your ability to understand written words. You can no longer read and name words. This is a type of aphasia (language disorder). It is caused by the brain not functioning correctly. This is a serious condition that may change over time, depending on the cause.
    Stroke—Most Common Cause of Alexic Anomia
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    Alexic anomia is caused by damage to the language areas of the brain, for example:

    Risk Factors

    Risk factors that increase your chances of developing alexic anomia include:


    If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to alexic anomia. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have:
    • Inability to read with understanding
    • Ability to write, but not read what you have written


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may also perform a neurological examination and tests to check brain function.
    Your doctor may need pictures of your brain. This can be done with:
    You may be referred to a neurologist. This is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the nervous system.


    Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
    • Speech-language therapy—to help you use your ability to communicate, regain lost abilities, learn to make up for language problems, and learn other methods to communicate
    • Counseling —to help you cope with your condition and help your family learn how to communicate with you
    • Individualized rehabilitation program—to focus on what caused your condition


    Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia. Follow these guidelines to help prevent stroke:


    National Aphasia Association http://www.aphasia.org/

    National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov/


    Aphasia Institute http://www.aphasia.ca/

    Brain Injury Association of Alberta http://www.biaa.ca/

    Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca


    Aphasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated September 2, 2012. Accessed November 26, 2012.

    Aphasia. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/pointOfCare/perc-about . Updated October 11, 2012. Accessed November 26, 2012.

    Cherny LR. Aphasia, alexia, and oral reading. Top Stroke Rehabil . 2004;11:22-36.

    Freedman L, Selchen DH, Black SE, Kaplan R, Garnett ES, Nahmias C. Posterior cortical dementia with alexia: neurobehavioural, MRI, and PET findings. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry . 1991;54;443-448.

    Kirshner HS. Aphasia and aphasic syndromes. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice . 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Butterworth Heniemann Elsevier; 2008: 141-160.

    Aphasia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/aphasia/aphasia.htm . Updated July 9, 2012. Accessed November 26, 2012.

    Stedman TL. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary . 28th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005;48; 177; B13-B14.

    Revision Information

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