Glossary

apraxia A disorder of implementing programs that instruct the motor neurons how to position one's hand and arm to interact with a tool or object, to orient the limb toward the target of the limb's action, to move the limb in space, to determine the speed of the movement, to order a series of acts leading to a goal, and to utilize the mechanical advantage that tools afford.

conceptual apraxia A loss of mechanical knowledge.

conduction apraxia Patients with this form of apraxia are more impaired at imitation than pantomiming to command.

dissociation apraxia Patients have a modality-specific apraxia (e.g., verbal command). Unlike patients with ideomotor and conduction apraxia, patients with this form of apraxia have almost flawless imitation and correctly use actual objects.

ideational apraxia The inability to carry out a series of acts that lead to a goal, an ideational plan.

ideomotor apraxia Patients with ideomotor apraxia make the most severe errors when asked to pantomime transitive acts to verbal command. When imitating their performance may improve but frequently remains abnormal. When using actual tools their performance may improve even further, but often their performance remains impaired. Patients with ideomotor apraxia make primarily spatial and temporal movement errors.

limb kinetic apraxia Patients with limb kinetic apraxia have a loss of the ability to make finely graded, precise, individual finger movements.

The pyramidal motor system, together with motor units, can mediate an infinite number of movements. Therefore, to successfully manipulate environmental stimuli the pyramidal motor neurons must be guided by movement programs. The programs must instruct the motor neurons how to position one's hand and arm to interact with a tool or object, to orient the limb toward the target of the limb's action, to move the limb in space, and to determine the speed of the movement. To successfully interact with the environment, one must also know how to order components of an act to reach a goal and the mechanical advantage that tools afford. Disorders of this control system are called apraxia.

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