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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.
Laboratoire d'Étude des Mécanismes Cognitifs (EA 3082), Institut de Psychologie, Université Lyon 2, 5, avenue Pierre Mendès-France, 69676, Bron Cedex, France, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neuropsychology review
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Impaired ambulation not attributed to sensory impairment or motor weakness. FRONTAL LOBE disorders; BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES (e.g., PARKINSONIAN DISORDERS); DEMENTIA, MULTI-INFARCT; ALZHEIMER DISEASE; and other conditions may be associated with gait apraxia.
Abnormal structures located chiefly in distal dendrites and, along with NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES and SENILE PLAQUES, constitute the three morphological hallmarks of ALZHEIMER DISEASE. Neuropil threads are made up of straight and paired helical filaments which consist of abnormally phosphorylated microtubule-associated tau proteins. It has been suggested that the threads have a major role in the cognitive impairment seen in Alzheimer disease.
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A progressive form of dementia characterized by the global loss of language abilities and initial preservation of other cognitive functions. Fluent and nonfluent subtypes have been described. Eventually a pattern of global cognitive dysfunction, similar to ALZHEIMER DISEASE, emerges. Pathologically, there are no Alzheimer or PICK DISEASE like changes, however, spongiform changes of cortical layers II and III are present in the TEMPORAL LOBE and FRONTAL LOBE. (From Brain 1998 Jan;121(Pt 1):115-26)