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NINDS Apraxia Information Page


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What is Apraxia?

Apraxia (called "dyspraxia" if mild) is a neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to execute or carry out skilled movements and gestures, despite having the desire and the physical ability to perform them. Apraxia results from dysfunction of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, especially the parietal lobe, and can arise from many diseases or damage to the brain.

There are several kinds of apraxia, which may occur alone or together. The most common is buccofacial or orofacial apraxia, which causes the inability to carry out facial movements on command such as licking lips, whistling, coughing, or winking. Other types of apraxia include limb-kinetic apraxia (the inability to make fine, precise movements with an arm or leg), ideomotor apraxia (the inability to make the proper movement in response to a verbal command), ideational apraxia (the inability to coordinate activities with multiple, sequential movements, such as dressing, eating, and bathing), verbal apraxia (difficulty coordinating mouth and speech movements), constructional apraxia (the inability to copy, draw, or construct simple figures), and oculomotor apraxia (difficulty moving the eyes on command). Apraxia may be accompanied by a language disorder called aphasia. Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration is a disease that causes a variety of types of apraxia, especially in elderly adults.

Is there any treatment?

Generally, treatment for individuals with apraxia includes physical, speech, or occupational therapy. If apraxia is a symptom of another disorder, the underlying disorder should be treated.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis for individuals with apraxia varies and depends partly on the underlying cause. Some individuals improve significantly while others may show very little improvement.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports research on movement disorders and conditions such as apraxia. The goals of this research are to increase scientific understanding of these disorders, and to find ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Apraxia Clinical Trials

Organizations

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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
2200 Research Boulevard
Rockville, MD   20850
actioncenter@asha.org
http://www.asha.org
Tel: 800-638-8255
Fax: 301-571-0457

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
8201 Corporate Drive
Suite 600
Landover, MD   20785
naricinfo@heitechservices.com
http://www.naric.com
Tel: 301-459-5900/301-459-5984 (TTY) 800-346-2742
Fax: 301-562-2401

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Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last updated February 14, 2014