Upper and lower face and ideomotor apraxia in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Jay Guido Capone, Sergio Della Sala, Hans Spinnler, Annalena Venneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Apraxia of face movement in Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been rarely investigated. This study aimed at investigating the frequency of lower (mouth, tongue and throat) and upper (eyes and eyebrows) face apraxia, in AD and its relationship with limb apraxia and severity of dementia. Methods: Fifty seven patients with AD were tested with a new standardised test of face apraxia including upper and lower face movements, which uses an item-difficulty weigthed scoring procedure, the IMA test, a test of ideomotor apraxia and the M.O.D.A., a means to assess dementia severity. Results: Thirteen (23%) and 19 (33%) participants were below cut-off respectively on the upper and lower face apraxia test. Both sections of the Face Apraxia Test correlated significantly with the Ideomotor Apraxia Test. However, double dissociations between different types of apraxia were observed. Both the upper and lower face apraxia tests correlated significantly with the measure of dementia severity. Conclusions: The finding show that a proportion of AD patients falls face apraxia tests. Their face apraxia is interlinked with ideomotor limb apraxia, although dissociations are possible. Severity of dementia deterioration accounts for a good proportion of the variability of AD patients' performance on face apraxia tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Face apraxia
  • Ideomotor apraxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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