What is it?

Apraxia is a neurological disorder in which the patient cannot perform familiar movements if asked to, even though it is understood by him. They cannot tie shoelaces or button shirts. It makes these patients very dependent and affects a great deal on their life. There are a few subtypes of apraxia; each has its particular features. For example, in apraxia of speech, there is a difficulty in planning the movement necessary for speech. In the buccofacial apraxia, which is the most common type, there is an inability to carry out facial movements on demand. Apraxia is caused by a defect in the brain pathways that contain memory of learned patterns of movement. It can be secondary to neurologic, vascular or metabolic disorders, most commonly in the frontal or parietal lobes in the left hemisphere of the brain. One subtype, the oculomotor apraxia, is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder. Prognosis varies from significant improval with treatment to losing their independence.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Apraxia
- Echolalia
- Other Symbolic Dysfunctions

Signs & symptoms

Apraxia symptoms are inability to perform movement in the absence of paralysis. Movements are clumsy, uncontrolled and inappropriate, sometimes even unintentional movements are being done. In some cases, apraxia is accompanied by aphasia which is the inability to understand or use words. Different types of apraxia have different symptoms such as inability to cough, whistle or to copy simple drawings.


There are qualitative and quantitative studies aimed to diagnose apraxia, such as TULIA- The Test to Measure Upper Limb Apraxia, which tests gesture production. These tests usually do not strongly correlate with actual performance in everyday functioning or activities and thefore the diagnosis is usually clinical and is based on patient's complaints and the exclusion of other conditions.


Treatment of apraxia includes treating the primary cause. Speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy may help the patients with apraxia.In some cases, children with apraxia may learn to compensate for deficits as they grow older with the help of special education and physical therapy programs.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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