“When you think about stroke, you think about physical disabilities or language problems... About 30-50% of stroke patients have spatial neglet, but they do not know they have this deficit.”

Spatial neglect is a neuropsychological consequence of brain damage following a stroke that causes patients to pay less attention to and have less awareness of the side of the body contralateral to where the brain damage occurred. The majority of the time, patients with stroke are often assessed only on physical disabilities and language impairments, leaving spatial neglect to go unnoticed.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Peii Chen, PhD, senior research scientist at Kessler Foundation, detailed the treatment methods used to help patients overcome spatial neglect, including prism adaptation and virtual reality treatments, as well as the issues with standard paper-based treatments already in place.

At Kessler Foundation, Chen and her colleagues have begun to train rehabilitation specialists to observe symptoms of spatial neglect while patients go about their normal daily activities. The program, Practice-RRUN, has been implemented to train occupational therapists to use the Catherine Bergego scale when evaluating and treating patients with spatial neglect.