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The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a leading federal funder of research on apraxia

What is apraxia?

Apraxia is the loss of ability to execute or carry out skilled movement and gestures, despite having the physical ability and desire to perform them. Apraxia results from dysfunction of the cerebral hemispheres of your brain, especially the parietal lobe (which his involved with movement coordination and processing sensations such as taste, hearing, and touch), and can arise from many diseases or damage to the brain. There are several types of apraxia, which may cause you to have problems with:

  • Starting or carrying out facial movements or commands such as licking your lips, coughing, or winking
  • Making fine, precise movements with an arm or leg
  • Responding to a verbal command
  • Coordinating activities with multiple related movements, such as dressing, eating, or bathing
  • Coordinating mouth or speech movements
  • Moving your eyes

Treatment may include a team of medical specialists for physical, speech, and other therapy to help you carry out everyday activities. Some people with apraxia improve significantly with treatment while others show very little improvement.

Learn About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with apraxia?

Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about apraxia and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with apraxia at Clinicaltrials.gov.

Where can I find more information about apraxia?

Information about apraxia is also available through the following resources:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Phone: 800-638-8255

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
Phone: 800-346-2742 

Order publications from the NINDS Catalog
The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.