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Ataxia vs. Apraxia: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 9, 2024
Ataxia refers to a lack of muscle coordination during voluntary movements, while Apraxia is the inability to perform movements or gestures despite having the desire and physical capability.
Ataxia vs. Apraxia

Key Differences

Ataxia is a neurological sign and symptom, involving a lack of coordination in muscle movements. Apraxia is a motor disorder caused by damage to the brain, where individuals have difficulty with the motor planning to perform tasks or movements.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024
Ataxia can be caused by damage to different parts of the nervous system, such as the cerebellum, and can be due to genetic factors, infections, injuries, or degenerative diseases. Apraxia often results from neurological disorders such as stroke, brain injury, or dementia, affecting the brain's ability to translate thoughts into actions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024
Ataxia manifests as poor coordination, unsteady walk, difficulty with fine motor tasks, and speech problems. Apraxia involves difficulty in executing voluntary movements, despite having the desire and physical ability to perform them.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024
Ataxia is diagnosed through physical examinations, medical history, and may involve genetic testing, MRIs, or CT scans. Apraxia is diagnosed based on symptoms, medical history, and neurological assessments; brain imaging tests may also be used.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024
Ataxia treatment focuses on the underlying cause if known, with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy as supportive treatments. Apraxia management includes speech therapy, occupational therapy, and sometimes medications, depending on the underlying cause.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Lack of voluntary muscle coordination
Inability to perform movements or gestures
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Primary Cause

Neurological, genetic, or environmental factors
Brain damage or neurodegenerative diseases
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Key Symptoms

Unsteady movements, speech difficulties
Difficulty in executing planned movements
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Diagnostic Methods

Physical exams, genetic tests, brain imaging
Neurological assessment, brain imaging
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Treatment Approaches

Therapy, medication for underlying cause
Speech and occupational therapy, medication
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024
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Ataxia and Apraxia Definitions

Ataxia

A Condition Affecting Speech, Eye Movements, and Swallowing:
The patient showed signs of ataxia in his speech and difficulty swallowing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Apraxia

Inability to Perform Tasks or Movements on Command:
Even though he understood the request, his apraxia prevented him from waving hello.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ataxia

Loss of Full Control of Bodily Movements:
After the accident, his ataxia was evident in his uncoordinated walk.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Apraxia

Difficulty in Executing Movements Despite Understanding and Willingness:
Despite trying, her apraxia made it impossible to tie her shoelaces.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ataxia

Neurological Symptom Indicating Coordination Problems:
The patient's ataxia made it difficult for her to use her hands for delicate tasks.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024
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Apraxia

A Result of Brain Injury or Disease Impacting Motor Skills:
After the stroke, she developed apraxia, making daily tasks challenging.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ataxia

Impairment of Voluntary Actions:
His speech ataxia affected his ability to articulate words clearly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Apraxia

A Condition Affecting the Execution of Learned Movements:
She could think through the steps of the dance, but apraxia hindered her performance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ataxia

Sign of Various Neurological Disorders:
Ataxia is often a telltale sign of underlying neurological disorders.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Apraxia

Motor Disorder Affecting Speech, Gestures, and Sequencing Movements:
His apraxia was apparent when he struggled to gesture properly during conversation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024

Ataxia

Loss of the ability to coordinate muscular movement.
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Jan 15, 2024

Apraxia

Total or partial loss of the ability to perform coordinated movements or manipulate objects in the absence of motor or sensory impairment.
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Jan 15, 2024

Ataxia

Any of various degenerative, often hereditary, disorders that are characterized by ataxia and are frequently associated with cerebellar atrophy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 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.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Ataxia

(pathology) Lack of coordination while performing voluntary movements, which may appear to be clumsiness, inaccuracy, or instability.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Apraxia

Inability to make purposeful movements, but without paralysis or loss of sensory function.
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Ataxia

(chemistry) The condition of a polymer in which the orientation of the subunits is random
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Jan 15, 2024

Apraxia

Inability to make purposeful movements
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Ataxia

(obsolete) Disorder; irregularity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Ataxia

Disorder; irregularity.
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Ataxia

Irregularity in disease, or in the functions.
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Jan 15, 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.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Ataxia

Inability to coordinate voluntary muscle movements; unsteady movements and staggering gait
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can Apraxia affect speech?

Yes, a common form is apraxia of speech, affecting verbal expression.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

What causes Apraxia?

It's typically caused by brain damage, often from a stroke or head injury.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

What is Ataxia?

Ataxia is a neurological condition characterized by a lack of muscle coordination.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Is Ataxia hereditary?

Some forms, like Friedreich's ataxia, are genetic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Can children have Ataxia?

Yes, it can be present from birth or develop in childhood.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

What causes Ataxia?

Causes include genetic disorders, brain injury, or neurodegenerative diseases.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Is there a cure for Apraxia?

There's no cure, but therapy can significantly improve function.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

How is Apraxia different from Ataxia?

Apraxia is a motor planning impairment, while Ataxia is a coordination issue.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Can Ataxia be treated?

Treatment depends on the cause and may include physical therapy and medications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

How is Ataxia diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves physical exams, medical history, and possibly imaging tests.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Can Ataxia affect speech?

Yes, it can lead to slurred speech and difficulty articulating words.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

How is Apraxia treated?

Treatment includes speech and occupational therapy, and sometimes medications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

What daily challenges does Ataxia present?

Challenges include difficulty with walking, writing, and performing fine motor tasks.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

What is Apraxia?

Apraxia is a motor disorder where one cannot execute voluntary movements correctly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Are there types of Ataxia?

Yes, including cere
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Is Apraxia always permanent?

It can be long-lasting, but severity can decrease with therapy and rehabilitation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Does Ataxia worsen over time?

It can progress, particularly in degenerative forms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Does Apraxia affect understanding of language?

No, it affects the production of speech, not comprehension.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Can Apraxia occur in children?

Yes, it can be present from birth or develop due to neurological conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

Can lifestyle changes help with Ataxia?

Healthy lifestyle choices can support overall health but may not directly affect ataxia symptoms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 09, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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