Researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have found the condition, a subset of the stroke called ‘unilateral spatial neglect’, tend to have the worst recovery outcomes in regaining lost functioning in their bodies, leading them to believe attention may have an important impact on recovering successfully.
Straight from the Source
Unilateral spatial neglect is typically caused by strokes on the right hand side of the brain and manifests in patients ignoring the left side of their body.
People with the condition may ignore food on the left hand side of their plate or, if asked to draw a clock, squash all 12 numbers into the right side of the clock face, leaving the other side blank.
They may also fail to shave, or to put make-up on the left side of their faces and in severe cases, they behave as though the left side of their world does not exist.
“We know that brain plasticity plays a critical role in recovering from stroke,” says Professor Jason Mattingley, chair of cognitive neuroscience.
“The fact that people with spatial neglect tend to have poorer recovery of motor function suggested to us that attention may be important for guiding plasticity following stroke.”