Mouth | Neurology | Apraxia (Symptom)


Apraxia is the loss of the ability to execute or accomplish learned and intentional movements, without the desire and the physical ability to carry out the movements. It is a motor planning disorder, which may be acquired or developmental, but it is not caused by incoordination, sensory loss, or failure to comprehend simple commands.

Apraxia should not be confused with ataxia, a lack of coordination of movements; aphasia, an inability to produce and/or comprehend language; abulia, the lack of desire to carry out an action; or allochiria, in which patients perceive stimuli to one side of the body as occurring on the other.


Apraxia is caused by damage to nerve tracts in the cerebrum, the main mass of the brain, that translate the idea for a movement into an actual movement. Damage to the cerebrum may be caused by a head injury, infection, stroke, or brain tumor.

There are various forms of apraxia, each related to damage in different parts of the brain. A person with ideomotor apraxia is unable to carry out a spoken command to make a particular movement, but at other times can make the same movement unconsciously. In sensory apraxia, a person may not be able to use an object due to loss of ability to recognize its purpose.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The prognosis for individuals with apraxia varies. With therapy, some patients improve significantly, while others may show very little improvement. Some individuals with apraxia may benefit from the use of a communication aid. However, many people with apraxia are no longer able to be independent.


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