Surface dyslexia in an Italian patient with semantic dementia

Luca Rozzini, Angelo Bianchetti, Giulia Lussignoli, Stefano Cappa, Marco Trabucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the case of a patient, AC, affected by a progressive fluent aphasia associated with left temporal lobe atrophy. The clinical picture was compatible with a diagnosis of 'semantic dementia'. The progressive linguistic disturbance was characteristic, in that phonology and articulation were preserved; speech was fluent but progressively impoverished of content words. Other aspects of cognitive function were initially unimpaired, and functional independence was maintained into the advanced stages of disease. The patient's single word reading was studied in order to assess the presence of surface dyslexia (non-lexical reading). This reading disorder has been described in English patients with semantic dementia or Alzheimer's disease who were impaired on irregular word reading, and has been related to the severity of semantic impairment. Evidence from AC indicates that surface dyslexia in Italian, which has a relatively transparent orthography at the segmental level, can be diagnosed on the basis of stress errors in words with unpredictable stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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