We have seen a patient with a profound, isolated, and quite selective deficit in proverb interpretation—aproverbia. The patient presented to us after an anoxic brain injury with aproverbia. Interestingly, the aproverbia appeared to be premorbid to the presenting event. Furthermore, the patient had no brain lesion that has been associated or even proposed as a cause of deficit in proverb or metaphor interpretation. The patient did have acute bilateral hippocampi lesions and associated severe anterograde amnesia, but he retained good retrograde memory with which he is able to give good, logical but concrete explanations for proverbs. This case highlights the need, importance, and interest in further neuropsychologic, imaging and functional studies of proverb and interpretation in patients and normal subjects populations.
- brain injury