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Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2010 Oct;20(5):704-24. doi: 10.1080/09602011003737087. Epub 2010 May 1.

Strength in numbers: combining neck vibration and prism adaptation produces additive therapeutic effects in unilateral neglect.

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Department Neuropsychology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


Unilateral neglect is a multifaceted disorder. Many authors have, for this reason, speculated that the best treatment for neglect will involve combinations of different therapeutic techniques. Two well-known interventions, neck vibration (NV) and prism adaptation (PA), have often been considered to be among the most effective treatments for neglect. Here, two experiments were performed to explore possible additive benefits when these interventions are used in combination to treat chronic neglect. Both experimental groups received NV for 20 minutes, while the second group received simultaneous PA. The effects of treatment were measured with a time-restricted and feedback-based visual search task, which has previously been found to abolish the beneficial effects of PA, and with standard neglect tests. Baseline and intervention measures were performed on separate days. Findings for both groups indicated improved visual search following intervention, but the patients that underwent the combined intervention (NVPA) showed clear improvements on visual search paper and pencil neglect tests unlike the NV-only group. Overall, our results suggest that PA strengthens the effects of NV and that feedback-based tasks do not abolish the beneficial effects of PA, when NV is applied simultaneously. The results support the view that the most effective treatment for neglect will involve the combination of different treatments.

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