- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Wernicke's aphasia

Related people

The aphasia syndrome, as described by Wernicke in 1908, consists of loss of comprehension of spoken language, loss of ability to read (silently) and write, and distortion of articulate speech. Hearing is intact. The affected persons may speak fluently with a natural language rhythm, but the result has neither understandable meaning nor syntax. Despite the loss of comprehension, the word memory is preserved and words are often chosen correctly. Alexia, agraphia, acalculia, and paraphasia are frequently associated. Some patients are euphoric and/or paranoid. The disorder is due to cortical lesions in the posterior portion of the left first temporal convolution.

See also Pick's disease, or lobar sclerosis syndrome, under Arnold Pick, czechoslovakian neurologist and psychiatrist, 1851-1924.


  • H. C. Bastian:
    On the various forms of loss of speech in cerebral disease.
    British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, London, 1869, 43: 209-236.
  • K. Wernicke:
    Der aphasische Symptomencomplex. Eine psychologische Studie auf anatomischer Basis.
    Breslau, M. Crohn und Weigert, 1874.
  • A. Y. Kozhevnikov:
    Osobii vid corticalnoi epilepsii. Medizinskoje Obozrenije, 1894, 42(14): 97.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.