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Operating Gadgets/Appliances | What's Happening in the Brain

There are many reasons that a person with Alzheimer's disease might have difficulty with operating gadgets. A common reason, however is that this represents apraxia . Apraxia is a failure of the thinking parts of the brain to integrate all the information that is needed to perform previously learned motor activities. This happens even though the individual parts of the brain required to do the task may function normally. Alzheimer's disease affects the ability of the brain to understand how to perform motor tasks. Early in the disease, these can be complicated tasks such as hobbies that require fine motor movements. Another early manifestation of apraxia is problems with using the television remote control, or other functions that require relating numbers to activities.

A classical sign of moderate dementia is dressing apraxia, which can be diagnosed when the caregiver says that the patient puts clothes on backwards, puts underwear on outside their clothes, or has trouble with buttons or zippers. It can be demonstrated at the end of the neurological examination by handing the patient his shirt to put back on, having first turned a sleeve inside out. Normally, people quickly put the sleeve right, but someone with apraxia has difficulty doing that.

Alzheimer's disease damages areas of the brain that organize the performance of motor sequences, including the very front part of the brain (pre-frontal motor cortex ) and the high sides of the brain (parietal lobes).

See Also:
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Irritability/ Frustration
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Unsafe Actions
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Anxiety and Worry
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Agnosia
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Memory
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Last updated January 9, 2019
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