About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Technique Allows Word Blindness Patients to Read Again

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on January 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM
Font : A-A+

 New Technique Allows Word Blindness Patients to Read Again

A novel technique has been reported by a team of researchers in the journal Neurology, which allows a patient with word blindness to read again.

Word blindness is a rare neurological condition. (The medical term is "alexia without agraphia.") Although a patient can write and understand the spoken word, the patient is unable to read.

Advertisement

The article is written by Jason Cuomo, Murray Flaster, MD, PhD and Jose Biller, MD, of Loyola University Medical Center.

Here's how the technique works: When shown a word, the patient looks at the first letter. Although she clearly sees it, she cannot recognize it. So beginning with the letter A, she traces each letter of the alphabet over the unknown letter until she gets a match. For example, when shown the word Mother, she will trace the letters of the alphabet, one at a time, until she comes to M and finds a match. Three letters later, she guesses correctly that the word is Mother.
Advertisement

"To see this curious adaption in practice is to witness the very unique and focal nature" of the deficit, the authors write.

The authors describe how word blindness came on suddenly to a 40-year-old kindergarten teacher and reading specialist. She couldn't make sense of her lesson plan, and her attendance sheet was as incomprehensible as hieroglyphs. She also couldn't tell time.

The condition was due to a stroke that probably was caused by an unusual type of blood vessel inflammation within the brain called primary central nervous system angiitis.

Once a passionate reader, she was determined to learn how to read again. But none of the techniques that she had taught her students - phonics, sight words, flash cards, writing exercises, etc. - worked. So she taught herself a remarkable new technique that employed tactile skills that she still possessed.

The woman can have an emotional reaction to a word, even if she can't read it. Shown the word "dessert," she says "Oooh, I like that." But when shown "asparagus," she says, "Something's upsetting me about this word."

Shown two personal letters that came in the mail, she correctly determined which was sent by a friend of her mother's and which was sent by one of her own friends. "When asked who these friends were, she could not say, but their names nevertheless provoked an emotional response that served as a powerful contextual clue," the authors write.

What she most misses is reading books to children. She teared up as she told the authors: "One day my mom was with the kids in the family, and they were all curled up next to each other, and they were reading. And I started to cry, because that was something I couldn't do."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
Spirituality and Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Blindness Facts Best Disease Usher Syndrome Trachoma 

Recommended Reading
Even Expert Searchers Struggle With Inattentive Blindness, Suggests Study
Researcher suggest that even expert searchers struggle with inattentional blindness, where people .....
Doctors: Main Cause for Blindness Is Glaucoma
Doctors in the national capital said that glaucoma has emerged in recent times as one of the most .....
Congenital Blindness Linked to Lower Thermal Pain Threshold
A team of researchers have investigated whether congenitally blind subjects experience pain a bit .....
Best Disease
People with Best disease may be completely normal or may suffer from blindness in due course....
Trachoma
Trachoma is a bacterial eye infection. It is the main cause of irreversible blindness due to infecti...
Usher Syndrome
Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disease which is the leading cause of deaf-blindness in humans....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use