Among the many functions of the brain, those of planning and coordinating movements and actions, are among the most traveled by people, because without them there is little we could do.
When these functions fail, the disorder emerges as one of the different types of apraxia in which performing an action or gesture can become something very difficult but impossible.
What is an apraxia?
Apraxia is the inability to perform specific maneuvers or activities and has its root cause in a neurological disorder.. People who suffer from any of the types of apraxia may try to perform an action or gesture because they have the physical ability to do it, but their brain is unable to send to build the sequence of movements for run it. These obstacles to performing actions can manifest in different ways and the same person can have one or more types of apraxia at the same time.
The most effective treatments for this disorder are physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. But the degree to which therapy can alleviate the problem varies among patients. In cases where apraxia underlies another neurological disorder, medical treatment for that disorder may be effective in curing it.
The main types of apraxia
The types of apraxia are classified according to their relation to the action or movement that the person wishes to perform. These types are as follows.
1. Ideacional Apraxia
This type of apraxia prevents the person from performing tasks in which they have to go through a series of steps.. Such as the kitchen.
Due to difficulties in conceptual ideas, these people may also encounter obstacles in the correct use of everyday objects; even when using body parts as an object, for example when trying to write with your finger.
However, not all of these actions are performed in a time sequence, which means that these patients cannot access the memory that allows them to act properly.
This particular form of apraxia is usually caused by a disorder in the temporal sequence of motor acts. If performing an action is seen as a chain of maneuver links, the person can perform each individual action correctly, but is unable to perform the sequence of actions consistently.
Some examples might be pressing the car’s accelerator without putting the keys in or putting the food in a pot without starting the fire.
2. Constructive apraxia
Also called constructive apraxia. During this disorder, the patient has difficulty drawing figures or constructing shapes.
But this neurological disorder can take the form of a large number of pathways; for example, someone who asks you to copy or draw a drawing might:
- Invert or rotate shapes
- Scatter the pieces of the shapes
- Go to details
- Misalign angles of figures
Conditions related to the functioning of the construction and spatial management possible due to injuries in the middle of the brain; although this deficit is much more severe when there is brain damage in the right hemisphere.
Thus, depending on the laterality, amplitude and location of the injury, skill deprivation can take different forms.
3. Ideomotor apraxia
Ideomotor apraxia is characterized by a lack of the ability to perform actions in response to purely verbal commands..
Likewise, people who suffer from it tend to have difficulty performing simple movements, compared to much more complex movements. Such as greeting or opening a door. However, these same people tend to continually explain all of their actions, thus experiencing verbal overflow.
The causes are usually associated with damage to the lower parietal lobe of the left hemisphere.
These patients tend to be somewhat clumsy in performing any act, whether it is a real movement of the person or an imitation; presenting these apraxic abnormalities in both the left hand and the right hand. In addition, they also tend to overuse everyday objects; using, for example, a writing fork.
4. Oculomotor apraxia
The main feature of this apraxia is in the form of difficulty in moving the eyes in the desired way., Specifically horizontally; vertical eye movements are not affected. The person who suffers from it is forced to perform compensatory movements, such as turning the head continuously, in order to perceive his environment.
This type of apraxia is likely to improve over the years when it occurs in young children. It is believed that by the growth of the underdeveloped part of the brain during the first years of life.
It is not known for sure why people are born with this disease. But we ended up considering that genetics play a central role in this type of apraxia.
5. Other types
Apraxia can have other differential characteristics, for example the following.
Buccofacial, buccal and orofacial
This apraxia restricts facial movement, making actions such as licking your lips, hissing, or blinking very difficult if not impossible.
Articulatory or speech
It is explained by a deficiency of the nervous system and is characterized by difficulties in planning and reaching the sounds of speech.