Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Action-Intentional Disorders

  • Kenneth M. HeilmanAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Center for Neurological Studies and the Research Service of the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center Email author 


Abulia; Akinesis; Hypokinesis; Motor impersistence (These terms are not fully synonymous with action-intentional disorders, but comprise important elements of the syndrome and are often used when describing specific these elements.​)


In the absence of weakness, patients can have a disability with initiating (akinesia, hypokinesia, abulia) or sustaining actions (impersistence), inhibiting irrelevant actions (defective response inhibition), and stopping an action when the task has been completed (motor perseveration).

Current Concepts

The motor system allows humans to interact with their environment and alter themselves as well as others. The human corticospinal motor system together with the motor units and muscles can mediate an almost infinite number of movements, and thus the human motor system needs to be guided by at least two major types of programs: praxic and intentional. The praxic programs provide the corticospinal system with the knowledge of how to make skilled ...

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