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Ataxia vs. Apraxia: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on February 8, 2024
Ataxia is a lack of muscle coordination during voluntary movements, while apraxia is the inability to perform learned movements, despite having the desire and physical capacity.

Key Differences

Ataxia is a neurological sign manifesting as a lack of coordination in muscle movements, often making tasks like walking or picking up objects difficult. Apraxia, on the other hand, is a motor disorder where an individual struggles to perform tasks or movements when asked, despite understanding the request and having the physical ability to do so.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
Ataxia often results from dysfunction in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls coordination. In contrast, apraxia typically arises from impairments in the cerebral cortex, particularly areas responsible for motor planning.
Huma Saeed
Feb 08, 2024
Individuals with ataxia may exhibit unsteady gait, slurred speech, and difficulty with fine motor tasks. Conversely, those with apraxia may find it challenging to carry out complex motor activities, such as dressing or mimicking hand gestures, even though they conceptually understand how to do them.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
Ataxia can be a symptom of various conditions, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, or genetic disorders. In contrast, apraxia often occurs following brain injury, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases, affecting an individual's ability to execute learned movements.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024
Treatment for ataxia focuses on addressing the underlying cause and physical therapy to improve coordination. Treatment for apraxia involves occupational and speech therapy to relearn lost or impaired motor skills.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Issue

Lack of muscle coordination
Inability to perform learned movements
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Typical Causes

Cerebellar dysfunction
Cerebral cortex damage
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Common Symptoms

Unsteady gait, slurred speech
Difficulty in executing complex tasks
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Associated Conditions

Stroke, genetic disorders
Brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

Treatment Focus

Improving coordination
Relearning motor skills
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024
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Ataxia and Apraxia Definitions

Ataxia

Ataxia is a neurological condition characterized by impaired coordination of voluntary movements.
A person with ataxia might stumble frequently due to uncoordinated walking.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

Apraxia

It involves difficulty in coordinating the sequence of movements, despite having the desire and physical ability.
He has apraxia, which makes complex tasks like using utensils challenging.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 22, 2024

Ataxia

Ataxia results from dysfunction in the cerebellum or nervous system.
After a stroke affecting her cerebellum, she developed ataxia, making her movements clumsy.
Huma Saeed
Jan 22, 2024

Apraxia

Apraxia can occur as a result of stroke, brain injury, or neurodegenerative diseases.
Post-stroke, she faced apraxia, complicating her ability to cook independently.
Janet White
Jan 22, 2024

Ataxia

Treatment for ataxia often involves physical therapy and addressing the root cause.
He underwent physical therapy to manage his ataxia symptoms after a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
Harlon Moss
Jan 22, 2024

Apraxia

Apraxia is a motor disorder characterized by the inability to execute learned movements.
Despite understanding the task, his apraxia made it hard to tie his shoelaces.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 22, 2024

Ataxia

Ataxia can be a symptom of various neurological disorders.
Ataxia in her case was a sign of an underlying genetic neurological condition.
Janet White
Jan 22, 2024

Apraxia

Apraxia arises from brain damage, particularly affecting the motor planning areas.
After her brain injury, she developed apraxia, struggling with daily activities like brushing her hair.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

Ataxia

This condition manifests in poor balance, unsteady gait, and lack of precision in movements.
His ataxia was evident in his unsteady walk and difficulty in grasping objects.
Janet White
Jan 22, 2024

Apraxia

Treatment for apraxia includes speech and occupational therapy.
To address his apraxia, he engaged in occupational therapy to relearn basic movements.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 22, 2024

Ataxia

Loss of the ability to coordinate muscular movement.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Apraxia

Total or partial loss of the ability to perform coordinated movements or manipulate objects in the absence of motor or sensory impairment.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

Any of various degenerative, often hereditary, disorders that are characterized by ataxia and are frequently associated with cerebellar atrophy.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Apraxia

(neurology) Total or partial loss of the ability to perform coordinated movements or manipulate objects in the absence of motor or sensory impairment; specifically, a disorder of motor planning.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

(pathology) Lack of coordination while performing voluntary movements, which may appear to be clumsiness, inaccuracy, or instability.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Apraxia

Inability to make purposeful movements, but without paralysis or loss of sensory function.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

(chemistry) The condition of a polymer in which the orientation of the subunits is random
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Apraxia

Inability to make purposeful movements
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

(obsolete) Disorder; irregularity.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

Disorder; irregularity.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

Irregularity in disease, or in the functions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

Loss of coordination in the voluntary muscles, especially the limbs; an inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements; it results in unsteady movements and a staggering gait. See also locomotor ataxia, an ataxia which occurs when attempting to perform coordinated muscular movements.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

Ataxia

Inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements; unsteady movements and staggering gait
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 10, 2024

FAQs

What are the main symptoms of apraxia?

Difficulty in performing learned movements and tasks.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Can ataxia be genetic?

Yes, some forms of ataxia are hereditary.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024

Is apraxia related to a lack of understanding?

No, it's a disconnect between understanding and execution.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

How is apraxia diagnosed?

Through neurological assessments and observing task performance.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

How common is apraxia after a stroke?

It's a relatively common consequence of stroke.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

Can ataxia affect speech?

Yes, it can lead to slurred or uncoordinated speech.
Huma Saeed
Feb 08, 2024

Can children have apraxia?

Yes, children can have apraxia, often diagnosed as developmental apraxia.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

What causes ataxia?

It's often caused by cerebellar dysfunction or nerve damage.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Are there treatments for ataxia?

Yes, including physical therapy and treating the underlying cause.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

Are there medications for ataxia?

Medications can manage symptoms but not cure ataxia.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024

Does apraxia affect intellectual ability?

No, it doesn't impact cognitive abilities.
Harlon Moss
Feb 08, 2024

Can lifestyle changes help with ataxia?

Healthy lifestyle choices can support overall treatment.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

Is apraxia a form of paralysis?

No, it's a motor planning issue, not paralysis.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Can ataxia affect all age groups?

Yes, ataxia can occur at any age.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Does ataxia get worse over time?

It can progress, depending on the underlying cause.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 08, 2024

Is ataxia always permanent?

Not always; it depends on the cause and treatment effectiveness.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

Can exercise improve ataxia symptoms?

Targeted exercises can help improve coordination and balance.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

Are there different types of apraxia?

Yes, including limb-kinetic, ideomotor, and ideational apraxia.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024

Can apraxia impact speech?

Yes, apraxia can affect speech, known as apraxia of speech.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 08, 2024

Is apraxia always a result of brain injury?

Most cases are, but there are other potential causes.
Janet White
Feb 08, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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