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

Tomomi Shijo, Shigenori Kanno, Satoshi Shibuya, Takanori Oikawa, Ayumu Ohnuma, Hiroshi Mochizuki

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1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-731
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Epilepsy
  • Left superior temporal gyrus
  • Midazoram
  • Pure word deafness
  • Wernicke's area


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