Motor recovery after stroke depends on intact sustained attention: a 2-year follow-up study

Neuropsychology. 1997 Apr;11(2):290-5. doi: 10.1037//0894-4105.11.2.290.


The functional recovery of 47 right-brain-damaged stroke patients was studied over a 2-year period. The researchers hypothesized that sustained attention capacity should predict the degree of motor and functional recovery over this period because of a proposed privileged role of sustained attention in learning-based recovery of function. As predicted, significant correlations were found between sustained attention capacity at 2 months and functional status (including the Barthel Index) at 2 years. This relationship was shown to exist independently of 2-month functional status. Furthermore, compared with a left-brain-damaged group of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) patients, the right-brain CVA group did not recover functional ability as well over the 2-year period. This increasing difference in functional status over a 2-year period was mirrored by an emerging difference in sustained attention capacity, in favor of the left-brain CVA group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*