Hyperlexia in an adult patient with lesions in the left medial frontal lobe

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A 69-year-old right-handed woman developed a transcortical motor aphasia with hyperlexia following resection of a glioma in the left medial frontal lobe. Neurological examination revealed grasp reflex in the right hand and underutilization of the right upper extremity. An MRI demonstrated lesions in the left medial frontal lobe including the supplementary motor area and the anterior part of the cingulate gyrus, which extended to the anterior part of the body of corpus callosum. Neuropsychologically she was alert and cooperative. She demonstrated transcortical motor aphasia. Her verbal output began with echolalia. Furthermore hyperlexia was observed in daily activities and during examinations. During conversation she suddenly read words written on objects around her which were totally irrelevant to the talk. When she was walking in the ward with an examiner she read words written on a trash bag that passed by and signboards which indicated a name of a room. Her conversation while walking was intermingled with reading words, which was irrelevant to the conversation. She also read time on analog clocks, which were hung on a wall in a watch store. In a naming task, she read words written on objects first and named them upon repeated question about their names. When an examiner opened a newspaper in front of her without any instructions she began reading until the examiner prohibited it. Then she began reading again when an examiner turned the page, although she remembered that she should not read it aloud. She showed mild ideomotor apraxia of a left hand. Utilization behavior, imitation behavior, hypergraphia, or compulsive use of objects was not observed throughout the course. Hyperlexic tendency is a prominent feature of this patient's language output. Hyperlexia was often reported in children with pervasive developmental disorders including autism. There are only a few reports about hyperlexia in adults and some of them were related to diffuse brain dysfunction. Hyperlexia of our patient was associated with echolalia but not with the other 'echo' phenomena, which may be because the lesion was unilateral on the left side. Dysfunction of the left supplementary motor area could lead to disinhibition of regulatory mechanism of verbal output in response to auditory and visual stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-397
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Difficulty of motor initiation
  • Eholalia
  • Hyperlexia
  • Supplementaly motor area


Dive into the research topics of 'Hyperlexia in an adult patient with lesions in the left medial frontal lobe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this