Medical Encyclopedia


Medical Encyclopedia

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Contents of this page:

Alternative Names   

Inability to make gestures and perform certain tasks; Movements - inability to perform certain tasks; Buccofacial apraxia; Orofacial apraxia; Ideational apraxia; Ideomotor apraxia; Limb-kinetic apraxia; Verbal apraxia

Definition    Return to top

Apraxia is being unable to perform tasks or movements you've already learned, even though your muscles and senses work properly. It is a disorder of the nervous system.

Considerations    Return to top

There are many different forms of apraxia. Some are listed below:

Other conditions contain the term "apraxia," but they are not officially a form of the condition. These "apraxia-like syndromes" include:

Apraxia may occur with a language disorder called aphasia.


Many people with apraxia are no longer able to be independent. They should avoid activities in which they might injure themselves or others.

Occupational therapy and counseling may help both patients and their caregivers learn ways to deal with the apraxia. However, because people with apraxia have trouble following instructions, occupational therapy for stroke or other brain injury is difficult.

No drug has been shown useful for treating apraxia.

Causes    Return to top

Home Care    Return to top

Take the proper safety measures if you have:

However, you can still participate in normal activities.

You must have extreme patience with people who have apraxia. Take time to show them how to do the task and allow enough time for them to perform the task. Avoid giving complex directions.

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call your health care provider if you are unable to do simple, routine acts and there is no known reason.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit    Return to top

If you are having seizures, you will be stabilized first.

The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

Tests that may be done include:

Your doctor may refer to you a physical, speech, or occupational therapist. If the movement problem is a symptom of another medical condition, that condition should also be treated.

References    Return to top

Heilman KM, Watson RT, Gonzalez-Rothi LJ. Praxis. In: Goetz CG. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 4.

Update Date: 4/23/2008

Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery and Gene Therapeutics Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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