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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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April 2003

Q. In situations of increased stress and/or increased emotion I get ideomotoric and verbal apraxy and being well aware of the occurring apraxy I get perseveration (inadequate repetition of the same physical movement). I call it "chronic apraxy", although I did not find such a definition in the medical books.

The "chronic apraxy" will only last a few seconds (10 seconds at the most) but it is very unpleasant, in the knowledge that I do function completely normal in all other situations. It started sometime at the age of 50, did not occur too frequently, but now at the age of 57 it happens regularly and I consider that I need to do something about it. Can you help?

A. Apraxia is considered a type of movement disorder in which a person is unable to perform some known motor function despite the ability and intention to do so. It is often very specific as to the type of impairment as you describe, affecting speech but no other apparent muscle function.

Treatment and success depend on diagnosing and treating any underlying conditions. Some cases respond to work with a speech therapist. Your family doctor or a neurologist can help in this regard.



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