Inconsistency of performance on neglect subtype tests following acute right hemisphere stroke

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2008 Jan;14(1):23-32. doi: 10.1017/S1355617708080077.


Hemispatial neglect has been conceptualized as having dissociable and potentially clinically relevant subtypes. However, the question of whether patient performance on neglect subtype measures is consistent over time remains largely unanswered. We examined changes in performance over time on measures of motor, perceptual, and personal neglect in 21 patients with neglect from acute right hemisphere stroke. Patients were assessed on three occasions, separated by at least one week, using a lateralized target test, lateralized response test, and modified fluff test. Across three testing timepoints, 18 (85.7%) patients changed subtype performance patterns at least once. In 13 (61.9%) of these patients, inconsistency between timepoints was not adequately accounted for by recovery. On initial testing, seven, patients (33.3%) demonstrated more than one neglect subtype symptom; by the third testing timepoint none of the patients demonstrated multiple symptoms. In the setting of acute stroke, performance on three measures of neglect symptoms is inconsistent across time. However, the distribution of neglect subtype symptoms appears to become more discrete over time. These findings complicate our understanding of the pathophysiology and potential prognostic value of neglect subtypes, and suggest that treatment decisions based on subtype performance assessed at a single timepoint, may be of limited utility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Perceptual Disorders / classification*
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / pathology