A case with apraxia of tool use: Selective inability to form a hand posture for a tool

Yuko Hayakawa, Toshikatsu Fujii, Atsushi Yamadori, Kenichi Meguro, Kyoko Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Impaired tool use is recognized as a symptom of ideational apraxia. While many studies have focused on difficulties in producing gestures as a whole, using tools involves several steps; these include forming hand postures appropriate for the use of certain tool, selecting objects or body parts to act on, and producing gestures. In previously reported cases, both producing and recognizing hand postures were impaired. Here we report the first case showing a selective impairment of forming hand postures appropriate for tools with preserved recognition of the required hand postures. A 24-year-old, right-handed man was admitted to hospital because of sensory impairment of the right side of the body, mild aphasia, and impaired tool use due to left parietal subcortical hemorrhage. His ability to make symbolic gestures, copy finger postures, and orient his hand to pass a slit was well preserved. Semantic knowledge for tools and hand postures was also intact. He could flawlessly select the correct hand postures in recognition tasks. He only demonstrated difficulties in forming a hand posture appropriate for a tool. Once he properly grasped a tool by trial and error, he could use it without hesitation. These observations suggest that each step of tool use should be thoroughly examined in patients with ideational apraxia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1


  • Apraxia of tool use
  • Grasping
  • Hand posture
  • Ideational apraxia
  • Parietal lobe


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