Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Angel BallEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_852


Acquired reading disorder

Short Description or Definition

The term alexia is applied to acquired disorders of reading produced by neurological injury in individuals with normal premorbid literacy skills. We differentiate here from developmental dyslexia which reflects a failure to attain normal reading skills. Clinically, patients with alexia have difficulty in recognizing, pronouncing, or comprehending written words. Although alexia can occur in relative isolation, it is more frequently encountered in the context of spoken language dysfunction or aphasia. Most individuals with alexia have concomitant spelling impairment, suggesting that reading and spelling rely on shared cognitive representations and neural substrates.


Alexia is not a single clinical entity. Instead, there are several distinct forms of alexia characterized by specific combinations of impaired and preserved reading abilities and associated with unique lesion profiles. The three most common...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Health SciencesTexas A&M University-KingsvilleKingsvilleUSA