Apraxia is a disorder of higher motor cognition, which is commonly observed after lesions to the left hemisphere (LH; Dovern et al., 2012). It impairs the imitation of gestures, pantomiming the use of objects and tools as well as the actual object and tool use.
Research into the neural underpinnings of pantomiming deficits has revealed a predominantly left-hemispheric fronto-parietal network. Within this network, the parietal cortex plays a key role in activating appropriate motor schemata for pantomiming the use of an object, whereas frontal areas are more involved in the execution of pantomimes (Niessen et al., 2014).
Although apraxia significantly impacts upon rehabilitation, little is known about the recovery from apraxic deficits after stroke and their underlying neural correlates. Current research suggests that patients with apraxic deficits have a better prognosis for recovery when their (initial) deficits are caused by lesions outside the fronto-parietal praxis networks (Kusch et al., 2018).
- Dovern A, Fink GR, Weiss PH (2012). Diagnosis and treatment of upper limb apraxia: a review. Journal of Neurology, 259, 1269-1283. DOI: 10.1007/s00415-011-6336-y
- Kusch M, Schmidt CC, Göden L, Tscherpel C, Stahl J, Saliger J, Karbe H, Fink GR, Weiss PH (2018). Recovery from apraxic deficits and its neural correlate. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 36(6), 669-678. DOI: 10.3233/RNN-180815
- Niesse E, Fink GR, Weiss PH (2014). Apraxia, pantomime and the parietal cortex. NeuroImage: Clinical, 5, 42-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2014.05.017