Facilitatory effect of neglect rehabilitation on the recovery of left hemiplegic stroke patients: a cross-over study

J Neurol. 1996 Apr;243(4):308-14. doi: 10.1007/BF00868403.


A study of the effect of specific training for visual neglect on the recovery of motor and functional impairment in stroke patients is reported. Two groups of right hemisphere stroke patients with hemispatial neglect and one group without neglect were assessed by means of three functional and neurological scales (Rivermead Mobility Index, Barthel Index, Canadian Neurological Scale). Three evaluations were made at 0, 2 and 4 months from the beginning of physical rehabilitation. During the first 2 months of physical rehabilitation one of the two groups of neglect patients was randomly assigned to specific training for neglect, and the second group to a general cognitive intervention; during the final 2 months of rehabilitation the types of training were switched in the two groups. The non-neglect patients improved steadily during physical rehabilitation. In contrast, the functional recovery of the two neglect groups was time-locked to the period of the specific training for neglect. At the time of admission, the two neglect groups performed at the same level; after 2 months of rehabilitation, the group with neglect training showed higher functional recovery than the group with only general cognitive intervention. When the latter group received neglect training, there was no longer any difference between the two neglect groups. This pattern was present for both of the functional scales used but not for the neurological scale. Motor and functional recovery of stroke patients with neglect seems to be significantly improved by the simultaneous presence of a treatment specifically focused on neglect.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Time Factors