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Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2009 Jun;19(3):364-82. doi: 10.1080/09602010802268856. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Left-hand somatosensory stimulation combined with visual scanning training in rehabilitation for post-stroke hemineglect: a randomised, double-blind study.

Author information

1
2nd Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland. kpolanow@ipin.edu.pl

Abstract

The aim of this randomised, double-blind study was to investigate the therapeutic effectiveness of left-hand electrical stimulation for patients with post-stroke left visuo-spatial neglect. This approach was hypothesised to enhance activation of the right hemisphere attention system and to improve visual exploration of extrapersonal space. Participants (n = 40) in the study were in a relatively early stage of recovery from their first right hemisphere stroke, and were randomly assigned to the experimental (E) or control (C) group. Group E received conventional visual scanning training combined with electrostimulation of the left hand, while Group C received scanning training with sham stimulation. Their visuo-spatial neglect was assessed twice, prior to the rehabilitation programme and on its completion, using cancellation tests and a letter-reading task. The effect of electrostimulation on hemineglect was assessed following a single administration and after a month-long rehabilitation programme. Although the immediate effect of stimulation was poor, after a month-long rehabilitation period we found significantly greater improvement in Group E patients than in Group C patients. Interestingly, the presence of hemisensory loss did not weaken the observed effect. Therefore, we claim that contralesional hand stimulation combined with visual scanning was a more effective treatment for hemineglect rehabilitation than scanning training alone.

PMID:
18663642
DOI:
10.1080/09602010802268856
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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