Apraxia - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Apraxia is a neurological condition in which the person feels difficult to make certain movements, gestures, or speak something even if their muscles are generally healthy. A mild form of apraxia is known as dyspraxia. It usually occurs due to the dysfunction of the cerebral hemisphere of the brain, especially the parietal lobe. However, it can also occur due to the damage to other parts of the brain.


There are certain different types of apraxia. One of them is orofacial apraxia- a condition in which the person can not make certain facial expressions like a wink of an eye, or licking their lips. Another form of it affects the ability of a person to move their arms or legs intentionally. The common form of it is apraxia of speech- a condition that mostly occurs in childhood in which the child faces difficulty in making certain movements while speaking. It is also known as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). 


In apraxia of speech, the brain struggles to develop plans for speech movements, not because the muscles of speech are weak but because the brain can not coordinate well and faces difficulty in directing the actions. To speak in the right manner, the brain needs to learn how to make the movement of the speech muscles like that of the jaw and lips. With apraxia, the brain faces difficulty in doing that. 


Speech therapy can help in the treatment of apraxia. It can also be accompanied by a disorder called aphasia. But both the conditions are quite different. In aphasia, the person faces difficulty expressing themselves with words. They have difficulty in understanding and using words in and of themselves. People with aphasia find it difficult to read, write and speak. But a person with apraxia has difficulty in initiating and performing the movements one needs for speech. 


Types


There are many kinds of apraxia, depending on the area they affect. They can occur alone or in a combination. The types of apraxia can be described as;



Orofacial apraxia -  also known as buccofacial apraxia, is a condition in which the person can not make certain facial expressions like a wink of an eye, coughing, or licking their lips, despite having the desire and physical ability to perform that. 


Limb kinetic apraxia - a condition in which the person is unable to carry out fine movements with the legs and arms despite having the desire and physical ability to perform that. 


Ideomotor apraxia - a condition in which the person can not make the right movements in response to the commands being given. 


Ideational apraxia - a condition in which the person is unable to carry multiple sequential activities like dressing, eating, and bathing. 


Constructional apraxia- a condition in which the person is unable to draw, copy or construct simple figures. 


Oculomotor apraxia- a condition in which the person is unable to move their eyes on command. 

Treatment 


The general treatment of apraxia is; 


  • Occupational therapy 

  • Physical therapy

  • Speech therapy 


If apraxia is a symptom of some underlying condition, due to other brain disorders, treating them can help get rid of apraxia. In other cases, therapies may help in getting better. 

Conclusion 

Apraxia is a neurological condition in which the person feels difficult to make certain movements, gestures, or speak something even if their muscles are generally healthy. A mild form of apraxia is known as dyspraxia. It usually occurs due to the dysfunction of the cerebral hemisphere of the brain, especially the parietal lobe.



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