Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Pure word deafness due to a localization-related seizure: a case study

Tomomi Shijo, M.D.1)2), Shigenori Kanno, M.D., Ph.D.1)3), Satoshi Shibuya, M.D., Ph.D.1), Takanori Oikawa, M.D., Ph.D.1), Ayumu Ohnuma, M.D., Ph.D.4) and Hiroshi Mochizuki, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, South Miyagi Medical Center
2)Department of Neurology, Tohoku University Hospital
3)Department of Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Tohoku University Hospital
4)Department of Neurology, Kohnan Hospital

We describe a 31-year-old, right-handed man who exhibited pure word deafness (PWD) due to a localization-related seizure. The patient was suddenly unable to comprehend spoken words, whereas he had no difficulty in speaking, comprehending written language, or discriminating non-verbal sounds. Diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery on brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed hyperintense lesions in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) and left superior marginal gyrus (SMG). Furthermore, brain single-photon emission computed tomography showed that these lesions were hyperperfused. An electroencephalogram (EEG) showed multiple spike-and-slow-wave complexes spreading to the left temporal regions. Immediately after administering midazolam intravenously, the patient was able to comprehend spoken words, and the epileptiform discharges in the left temporal regions disappeared. These findings indicate that he suffered from PWD resulting from a dysfunction of the left hemisphere alone. Furthermore, they suggest that the left STG and left SMG play an important role in the recognition of spoken words.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (4390K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 54: 726|731, 2014)
key words: pure word deafness, epilepsy, Wernicke's area, left superior temporal gyrus, midazoram

(Received: 4-Nov-13)