Recovery From Visual Neglect After Right Hemisphere Stroke: Does Starting Point in Cancellation Tasks Change After 6 Months?
Kettunen, Jani E; Nurmi, Mari; Dastidar, Prasun; Jehkonen, Mervi (2012)
Kettunen, Jani E
Clinical Neuropsychologist 26 2
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In the acute phase of stroke, patients with left visual neglect (VN) automatically orient to the right hemispace. This study examined the presence of rightward bias after right hemisphere stroke within 10 days of stroke onset and after 6 months. Our sample comprised 43 patients and 49 healthy controls. Presence of VN was evaluated with the six conventional subtests of the Behavioral Inattention Test (BITC). Starting points were determined in three BITC cancellation tasks by measuring the distance between the starting point and the median line of the stimulus sheet in centimeters. Activities of daily living (ADL) were assessed with the Barthel Index. At baseline VN patients showed more robust rightward bias than patients without VN. The magnitude of rightward bias decreased clearly in the VN patients at follow-up. A favorable ADL outcome was observed in 90% of the patients with VN and in all of the patients without VN. The magnitude of rightward bias differed clearly between the patient groups and controls. Our result implies that VN was likely to have improved as measured by BITC sum scores, but symptoms of rightward attention bias were still detected. We therefore suggest that, for clinical purposes, it is important that attention bias is measured accurately after right hemisphere stroke.
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