Sumit Karia MD

The Common Vein Copyright 2010


Apraxia is defined as a disorder of skilled movement not caused by weakness, abnormal tone or posture, movement disorders, intellectual deterioration, or uncooperativeness. It is poorly understood; it is classified as a behavioral syndrome. Several types of apraxia are described; many of them are part of a larger syndrome – they can be a gait defect, a gaze defect, a drawing defect.

It is caused by a dysfunction of the primary motor cortex. It results in a loss of the know-how of the brain in terms of how to perform certain movements. Structurally, the left inferior parietal lobule, the frontal lobes or the corpus callosum are the regions involved.

Clinically, patients do not have the insight regarding their deficits. They can have various presentations such as inability to dress, to make precise movements with their hands, to draw, amongst others.

Apraxia is in part a diagnosis of exclusion. Testing for apraxia is carried out in several ways – by observation patient’s movements when perfoming common tasks and complex acts.

Neuroimaging can contribute by identifying a primary disorder that can affect the mentioned functional areas, which includes strokes, dementias, and tumors.

There is no known medical treatment to date. Behavioral training programs consisting of gesture exercises may produce clinical improvement.

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