The first clinical description of pure agraphia was reported by the French neurologist Pitres in 1884. Pitres used the case study evidence to argue for modality-specific memory representations and the localization of writing. This article reviews Pitres’s contribution to the study of acquired writing disorders, the components of writing models and the cerebral localization which subserve writing, in light of the views entertained by his contemporaries and current authors. Although numerous cases have been reported throughout this century, the view that writing can be impaired while other language functions and motor activities remain intact is still challenged
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