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Kessler Foundation Research Center Presented Two Studies on Post-stroke Spatial Neglect at American Academy of Neurology
Date:4/30/2009

Studies May Identify Best Candidates for Treatment of this Hidden Disability

WEST ORANGE, N.J., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Two studies from Kessler Foundation Research Center's Stroke Rehabilitation Research Laboratory were presented today at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 61st Annual Meeting held in Seattle, Washington, April 25 through May 2, 2009. The AAN Annual Meeting is the world's largest gathering of neuroscience professionals.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090430/NY07915)

-- Fortis and colleagues: Effect of Prism Adaptation on "Aiming" Spatial Bias and Functional Abilities. April 30, 2009: 7 am

-- Kornitzer and colleagues: Prism Adaptation and Learning Curves in Spatial Neglect. April 30, 2009: 7 am

Both research studies may aid in identifying the best candidates for a novel treatment for "spatial neglect," a hidden, but disabling condition that can complicate recovery from even a mild stroke. The person with spatial neglect has difficulty recognizing and reacting appropriately to events in a 3-dimensional space on the side opposite the brain injury. Objects may be ignored, or may appear displaced to the right or left. Caregivers may assume that the person is not motivated or is intellectually impaired. Untreated, spatial neglect can be the cause of auto accidents, falls, cooking-related injuries, and inadequate personal hygiene. Hidden disabilities like spatial neglect are common after stroke and relatively easy to detect, but are often overlooked.

To detect spatial neglect, clinicians evaluate a person's ability to perform visual-motor tasks such as bisecting a line, copying simple drawings, and identifying letters in an array. Because perception of their environment, and the
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