- Apraxia (or dyspraxia if it is mild) is a neurological disorder characterized by loss of the ability to carry out purposeful movements and gestures, despite having the desire and the physical ability to perform them.
- Apraxia results from impaired function of the brain hemispheres, especially the parietal lobe.
- It can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, stroke, brain tumor, and/or brain trauma.
Buccofacial or orofacial apraxia
- Inability to carry out facial movements on command, such as licking lips, whistling, coughing, or winking
- Inability to make fine, precise movements with an arm or leg
- Difficulty with getting started with walking and may have a “magnetic” or shuffling walk or gait
- Commonly seen in vascular dementia and normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Inability to make the proper movement in response to a verbal command
- Inability to coordinate activities with multiple, sequential movements (e.g., dressing, eating, bathing, and toileting)
- Difficulty coordinating mouth and speech movements
- Inability to copy, draw, or construct simple figures
- Difficulty moving the eyes on command
- Identify and treat the underlying cause
- Physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy
- Some individuals improve significantly while others may not. The underlying cause determines the prognosis. For example, apraxia from dementias tends to worsen over time.