A loss of the ability to read or understand the written word, due to brain damage that disconnects these functions. From the Greek prefix “a- “ meaning “without” + “lexis”, meaning “word” = without word.
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An inability to comprehend the meaning of written or printed words and sentences, caused by a cerebral lesion. Also called optical a., sensory a., or visual a., in distinction to motor a. (anarthria), in which there is loss of the power to read aloud although the significance of what is written or printed is understood. SYN: text blindness, word blindness, visual aphasia (1). [G. a- priv. + lexis, a word or phrase]
- incomplete a. SYN: dyslexia.
- musical a. loss of the power to read musical notation. SYN: music blindness, note blindness.

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alex·ia ə-'lek-sē-ə n aphasia characterized by loss of ability to read
alex·ic -'lek-sik adj

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an acquired inability to read. It is due to disease in the left hemisphere of the brain in a right-handed person. In agnosic alexia (word blindness) the patient cannot read because he is unable to identify the letters and words, but he retains the ability to write and his speech is normal. This is a form of agnosia. A patient with aphasic alexia (visual asymbolia) can neither read nor write and often has an accompanying disorder of speech. This is a form of aphasia. See also dyslexia.

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alex·ia (ə-lekґse-ə) [a-1 + Gr. lexis word + -ia] a form of receptive aphasia in which there is loss of the ability to understand written language as a result of a cerebral lesion; cf. dyslexia. Called also optical alexia, visual aphasia, and word blindness. alexic adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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