Buchmann, Ilka

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A combined therapy for limb apraxia and related anosognosia

2020-11-25, Buchmann, Ilka, Finkel, Lisa, Dangel, Mareike, Erz, Dorothee, Harscher, Kathi Maren, Kaupp-Merkle, Moritz, Liepert, Joachim, Rockstroh, Brigitte, Randerath, Jennifer

Left hemisphere stroke frequently leads to limb apraxia, a disorder that has been reported to impact independence in daily life and rehabilitation success. Nonetheless, there is a shortcoming in research and availability of applicable trainings. Further, to date, anosognosia for limb apraxia has largely been neglected. Therefore, we developed a Naturalistic Action Therapy that trains object selection and application with an errorless learning approach and which includes supported self-evaluation. The current study presents the results of two stroke patients participating in the training. The procedure entailed two baseline and one post-training sessions including standardized limb apraxia and anosognosia assessments as well as 18 naturalistic action tasks. The training consisted of 15 sessions during which 4-6 of the 18 naturalistic action tasks (e.g., pour water into a glass, make a phone call) were trained. Both patients showed improvement in trained and untrained tasks as well as in standardized apraxia and anosognosia assessments. Training effects appeared strongest for the trained items. The procedure is documented in detail and easy to administer and thus may have the potential to be applied by relatives. The results of this pilot-study are promising and suggest that the approach is suitable for further evaluation.


Limb apraxia profiles in different clinical samples

2020-01-02, Buchmann, Ilka, Dangel, Mareike, Finkel, Lisa, Jung, Rebecca, Makhkamova, Inara, Binder, Andreas, Dettmers, Christian, Herrmann, Laura, Liepert, Joachim, Möller, Jens Carsten, Richter, Gabriel, Vogler, Tobias, Wolf, Caroline, Randerath, Jennifer

Objective: Limb apraxia is a motor cognitive disorder that has been mainly studied in patients with dementia or left hemisphere stroke (LHS). However, limb apraxia has also been reported in patients with right hemisphere stroke (RHS), multiple sclerosis (MS) or traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study’s aim was to report detailed praxis performance profiles in samples suffering from these different neurological disorders by use of the Diagnostic Instrument for Limb Apraxia (DILA-S).

Method: 44 LHS patients, 36 RHS patients, 27 patients with dementia, 26MS and 44 TBI patients participated. The diagnostics included the imitation of meaningless and meaningful hand gestures, pantomime of tool-use, single real tool-use as well as a multistep naturalistic action task (preparing breakfast).

Results: Apraxia occurred in all tested samples but to a varying degree and with dissimilar profiles. LHS patients demonstrated most severe deficits in pantomime, but they were also vulnerable to deficits in real tool-use. Dementia patients showed high incidence rates of apraxia in almost all subscales of the DILA-S. RHS patients demonstrated difficulties in imitation and pantomime of tool-use, but they did not show severe difficulties with real tooluse. TBI patients appeared challenged by multistep naturalistic actions. The tested MS sample did not show clinically relevant symptoms in the DILA-S.

Conclusion: Different types of patients display varying limb apraxic symptoms detectable by the DILA-S. In these limb apraxia susceptible populations, testing should be warranted as standard.