Journal Article

Musical alexia with recovery: a personal account

Ian McDonald

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 129, issue 10, pages 2554-2561
ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online September 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awl235
Musical alexia with recovery: a personal account

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I describe the experience of an acute loss of ability to read music and play the piano accurately and expressively following an embolic infarct of the right angular and supramarginal gyri in a setting of chronic migraine. Other parietal deficits included a small visual field defect, visual hallucinations, prosopagnosia, topographical disorientation, disturbance of perception of velocity of moving objects and dyscalculia. Recovery began within a month of the ictus after instituting a regular practice routine. The ability to read and play polyphony recovered before the ability to read homophonic music. A substantial degree of recovery of musical function occurred within 6 months and of the other parietal deficits over a year. Failure to maintain regular practice led to marked though recoverable deterioration. An increased frequency of migraine persisted for some 18 months.

Keywords: cerebral infarction; parietal lobe; angular gyrus; supramarginal gyrus; prosopagnosia; dyscalculia; spatial disorientation; extracampine hallucinations

Journal Article.  5438 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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