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There’s a really interesting symptom I remember hearing about, wherein the patient will fail to understand certain sounds correctly, in a repeatable fashion.

For example, the patient could be watching a TV show, and hear “What kind o-z on the pizza?” Rewind 10 seconds, “So you want one large and one bottle of Sprite. What kind o-z on the pizza?” Rewind again, listen again. “So you want one large and one bottle of Sprite. What kind o-z on the pizza?” At this point, the patient has figured out that the sentence was “What kind of cheese on the pizza?” Yet even after rewinding again, the patient logically knows what he or she should be hearing, but still only understands “What kind o-z on the pizza?”

This could be a TIA, but the effect can continue intermittently for days potentially, so it would seem to be something else. Anyway, what is this symptom called?

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Receptive aphasia is a type of aphasia in which patients have difficulty understanding ("receiving") words as opposed to difficulty speaking them. There are more than one possible etiology and it is not diagnostic for a specific pathology, but may suggest something wrong with the temporal lobe due to epilepsy, TIA/stroke, brain damage, medication, or psychiatric condition (NOT an exhaustive list). Of note, anxiety can have various effects on the processes involving speech and memory.

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