Movement Disorders



This problem is caused by diseases or damage in the brain, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain injury
  • Infection
  • Degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer disease and Huntington disease
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Risk Factors

This problem is more common in people who have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) . Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Dialysis to take over the job of the kidneys when they fail



A person may have problems:

  • Copying movements or making signals when asked
  • Making facial movements, such as winking, whistling, or sticking out the tongue
  • Making the movements needed to speak
  • Making more than one movement at the same time
  • Making fine, exact movements with the hands or fingers, such as handling coins
  • Walking
  • Copying or drawing simple figures
  • Picking and using tools or objects the right way
  • Doing tasks in order
  • Dressing


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may ask a person to do common tasks as part of the exam. A neuropsychological test may also be done to check brain function.

Images may be taken of the brain. This can be done with:

  • MRI scan
  • CT scan

A person's speech ability may also be tested.



The goal of treatment is to help a person be able to move as they want to. The cause of apraxia will need to be treated. The treatment will depend on the type a person has. The doctor may advise:

  • Physical therapy to help with movement
  • Occupational therapy to help with everyday tasks and self-care
  • Speech therapy to help with swallowing and speaking
  • Cognitive rehabilitation to help with brain function


There are no known ways to prevent apraxia. The risk may be lowered by managing long term health problems, such as high blood pressure.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.