Aphasia vs. Apraxia – The Difference Between

The difference between aphasia and apraxia

When certain parts of the brain sustain damage, two conditions can result – aphasia and apraxia. Each one has a different set of symptoms and the nature of the two medical conditions is entirely different. Aphasia is a disorder that affects language and apraxia is a disorder that affects the brain’s motor planning ability. Aphasia results when the left hemisphere of the brain is damaged and apraxia results when the cerebrum is the part of the brain that sustains the damage.


The word “apraxia” comes from the Greek word “praxia” which translates as “deed” or “work”. The total meaning of the word is “without work or deed” and has to do with the inability to follow directions. The brain is unable to respond to commands because it cannot process what action is required. While the patient really wants to do what is asked of him/her, it is impossible to do so. The inability of the brain to interpret motor responses eventually results in the body not being able to move at all.

One specific type of apraxia is the inability to move the muscles in the face. Such a patient would not be able to smile or wink.


Aphasia is also a word from the Greek languages that means “speechless”. The patient can neither understand the language nor speak it. This is very difficult because the patient knows what to say – He just cannot speak it or write it down. This is what makes this a language disorder.