Apraxia and Alzheimer's disease: review and perspectives

Neuropsychol Rev. 2013 Sep;23(3):234-56. doi: 10.1007/s11065-013-9235-4. Epub 2013 Aug 1.


Apraxia is one of the cognitive deficits that characterizes Alzheimer's disease. Despite its prevalence and relevance to diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, this topic has received little attention and is without comprehensive review. The review herein is aimed to fill this gap by first presenting an overview of the impairment caused in different clinical situations: pantomime of tool use, single tool use, real tool use, mechanical problem solving, function and manipulation knowledge tasks, and symbolic/meaningless gestures. On the basis of these results, we then propose alternative interpretations regarding the nature of the underlying mechanisms impaired by the disease. Also presented are principal methodological issues precluding firm conclusions from being drawn.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Apraxias / complications*
  • Apraxias / epidemiology
  • Apraxias / psychology
  • Behavior / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Mechanics
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Prevalence
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Tool Use Behavior