Ideational apraxia is a disturbance of voluntary
movement in which a person misuses objects because
he/she has difficulty identifying the concept (idea) or
purpose behind the objects. For example, it would be
difficult to use a toothbrush if one could not identify what
the purpose of it was. Such a person may try to brush
his/her hair instead. Due to the conceptual loss,
sequencing errors are common in this form of apraxia.
An example would be putting cream cheese on a bagel
before putting it in the toaster. It is important to note that
motor movement is not lost in ideational apraxia.
However, the person's movements appear confused
because he/she cannot form a plan on how to sequence
those movements when using an object.
A person with ideational apraxia
may misuse a toothbrush as a
hair brush because the concept
beyond the object is lost.
Ideational apraxia is generally due to damage in the submarginal gyrus (a rounded bumpy
area) of the parietal lobe of the brain. The parietal lobe is the middle area of the top part
of the brain. Ideational apraxia is often seen in moderate to severe dementia, which is a
progressive loss of cognitive and intellectual functioning without loss of consciousness.
Ideational apraxia is usually contrasted and compared with ideomotor apraxia. Ideomotor
apraxia is a disturbance of voluntary movement because of a disconnection between the
idea of a movement and its execution.
Ideational apraxia is also known as ideatory apraxia and sensory apraxia. Ideational apraxia comes from the
Greek word "idea" meaning "form," the Greek word "a" meaning "to do without," and the Greek word "pratto"
meaning "to do." Thus, apraxia roughly translates into "without being able to do." Put the words "ideational"
and "apraxia" together and you roughly get "without being able to do (because one cannot understand) the
form/purpose (of an object)."