Assessing limb apraxia in traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury

Cristin McKenna, Uma Thakur, Bradley Marcus, Anna Mariya Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


People with traumatic brain injury (TBI) may demonstrate action planning disorders and limb apraxia. Many patients, who sustain a spinal cord injury (SCI), sustain a co-occurring TBI (11-29 percent of people with SCI) and therefore are at risk for limb apraxia. People with SCI and TBI (SCI/TBI) rely on powered assistive devices which amplify movement. Their ability to learn complex motor compensatory strategies, that is, limb praxis, is critical to function. We wished to identify methods of screening for apraxia in patients with SCI/TBI. We reviewed instruments available for limb praxis assessment, presenting information on psychometric development, patient groups tested, commercial/clinical availability, and appropriateness for administration to people with motor weakness. Our review revealed that insufficient normative information exists for apraxia assessment in populations comparable to SCI/TBI patients who are typically young adults at the time of injury. There are few apraxia assessment instruments which do not require a motor response. Non-motoric apraxia assessments would be optimal for patients with an underlying motor weakness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-742
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Scholar
Volume5 S
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Apraxia
  • Rehabilitation
  • Review
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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