Severity of spatial neglect after stroke predicts long-term mobility recovery in community

Stroke rehabilitation researchers at Kessler Foundation report an association between acute, severe spatial neglect post stroke and long-term recovery of mobility. This new study indicates that severity of spatial neglect during the acute inpatient rehabilitation for right brain stroke may predict functional mobility in the community after discharge. The article, "Severity of spatial neglect during acute inpatient rehabilitation predicts community mobility post stroke," was epublished ahead of print in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation on January 9, 2014.

The authors are Mooyeon Oh-Park, MD, and Peii Chen, PhD, of Kessler Foundation, Cynthia Hung, MD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and A.M. Barrett, MD, director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation, and chief of Neurorehabilitation Program Innovation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Drs. Barrett, Chen and Oh-Park have faculty appointments at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Spatial neglect is a disabling disorder of functional vision that often complicates recovery after right brain stroke," observed Dr. Oh-Park. "This study shows that there may be implications for physical, as well as cognitive, in patients who exhibit severe spatial neglect during acute inpatient rehabilitation." The research team looked at whether stroke survivors with more severe spatial neglect during their acute inpatient rehabilitation had poorer mobility after returning to their communities.

The study involved 31 patients with right brain stroke who demonstrated spatial neglect within 2 months post stroke. Participants were assessed with the Behavioral Inattention Test and Catherine Bergego Scale (CBS) tests of neglect recovery, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging Life-Space Assessment for community mobility. Results showed that community mobility, defined by the extent and frequency of traveling in home and the community, was poorest among patients who had severe spatial neglect post .

"These findings suggest another reason to support early detection and intervention of spatial neglect, said Dr. Barrett. "Even when neglect improved, there was an impact on community mobility six months later. Treatment may be necessary to achieve better return of mobility later on."

More information: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2014.01.002

Barrett AM. Picturing the body in spatial neglect: descending a staircase. Neurology. 2013 Oct 8;81(15):1280-1.

Goedert KM, Chen P, Boston RC, Foundas AL, Barrett AM. Presence of motor-intentional aiming deficit predicts functional improvement of spatial neglect with prism adaptation. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair epub Dec 27 2013. DOI: 10.1177/1545968313516872

Barrett AM, Oh-Park M, Chen P, Ifejika NL. Five new things in neurorehabilitation. Neurology Clinical Practice. Epub Nov 13 2014. DOI: 10.1212/01.CPJ.0000437088.98407.fa.

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