Apraxia: Meaning, Types, Treatment and Recent Medical Research in this field

February 2021

Meaning and Types


Apraxia, called (dyspraxia) when mild, is a neurological disorder in which the diagnosed lose their ability to perform skilled movements, despite their physical ability and a desire to do so. It results from the condition of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. It usually occurs from a dysfunction of the parietal lobe of the brain.


Among the several kinds of apraxia, the most common are buccofacial or orofacial apraxia, leading to the inability to facilitate facial movements such as coughing, licking lips, winking, whistling. Few other types are as follows:



  • Limb-kinetic apraxia (lack of ability to make movements with an arm or leg)

  • Ideomotor apraxia (the inability to respond to verbal command)

  • Ideational apraxia (when a person is unable to coordinate their activities sequentially)

  • Verbal apraxia (lack of coordination between speech and mouth movements)

  • Oculomotor Apraxia (inability to move eyes on command)


Causes of apraxia


The site of the brain, associated with the memory of learned patterns and movements, fails to function effectively inpatient with apraxiaThe abrasion stems from neurological, metabolic, or other disorders that involve the frontal lobe of the left portion of the brain. The part of the brain is a storehouse of 3-dimensional presentations of formerly learned patterns. Patients with the disease are unable to recollect the stored movements. Lesions to specific parts of the brain, resulting from stroke or wounds, tumors, and dementias, might contribute to apraxia. Research is testimony that apraxia, a result of stunted development of the nervous system, is found in new-borns.


Apraxia of Speech (AOS)- Causes, Types, and Treatment


Human beings communicate through sounds, words, and gestures. Of these three, verbal communication facilitates through words. What is the result of inconsistency in utterance? It is termed acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, or childhood apraxia (CAS) diagnosed in children. There is a marked disruption in the sequential manner in which the brain pathways producing speech are affected. Despite the brain’s ability to understand what to say, it fails to coordinate actions in a sequence of speech sounds.


Broadly, there are two distinct types of apraxia:



  • Acquired AOS: It is present in adults. This kind of apraxia results from the damage to the part of the brain directly involved with speaking abilities. It results from stroke, head injury, other diseases affecting the brain. At times, Aphasia accompanies it, a disorder of language.

  • Childhood Apraxia: Present from birth, the children diagnosed with this kind of apraxia, their speech development is slow. Imaging studies reveal that damage in the brain is the resulting force behind this kind of apraxia. In this disorder, genetics plays a significant role. For, the dysfunction is often seen as part of the history of the family members. 


Treatment of AOS:


Multiple approaches enable medical professionals to provide the best methods of treating their patients effectively. Spontaneous recovery can is observed among individuals where they work on their speech abilities. However, for children unable to overcome the difficulty independently, speech-language therapy is effectively useful in their treatment. Methods are being adopted by professionals to battle the disorder. In few cases, adults and children must discover ways of expressing themselves. From formal or informal sign language to pictorial presentations in a notebook or electronic devices such as phones, laptops, used for generating speech.


Researchers are working tirelessly to unearth causes leading to such abnormalities in children causing childhood AOS. Identification of the specific techniques and criteria segregate AOS from other speech-related disorders.

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