Apraxia and Dysarthria are two different motor speech disorders. Dysarthia is associated with slurred speech which results from in coordination of muscles used for the production of speech. Apraxia on the other hand is a neurological defect which occurs due to damage to the part of the brain which is related to speech. There are different types of apraxia including apraxia of speech, dyspraxia and verbal apraxia.
Differential Diagnosis Apraxia Dysarthria
Disarthria is associated with slurred speech, slow or rapid rate of speech, soft speech, limited movement of the lips, jaws or tounge, abnormal rhythm while speaking and changes in vocal quality. In addition the condition is associated with drooling, difficulty while chewing or swallowing, hoarseness, etc.
Apraxia on the other hand is associated with difficulty in imitating sounds, imitating non speech movements like sticking the tongue out, inability to produce sound, inconsistent errors while speaking, slow rate of speech. However patients suffering from this condition often are able to produce ‘automatic speech’ such as greeting like ‘how are you doing?’, without any trouble. The symptoms associated with Apraxia are often mild to severe depending upon the extent of damage in the brain tissue.
It is critical to be able to differentiate between the two conditions as apraxia often occurs along with dysarthria. The causes of the conditions include stroke, brain tumor, brain injury, etc.