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Rehabil Res Pract. 2012;2012:312781. doi: 10.1155/2012/312781. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Brain Activity Stimulated by Prism Adaptation Tasks Utilized for the Treatment of Unilateral Spatial Neglect: A Study with fNIRS.

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Department of Neurorehabilitation, Graduate School of Health Science, Kio University, 4-2-2 Umami-naka koryo-cho, Kitakatsuragi-gun, Nara 635-0832, Japan.


We investigated the neurological basis for efficacy of prism adaptation therapy, which is used for the treatment of poststroke unilateral spatial neglect (USN). Study subjects were 6 USN-positive (+), 6 USN-negative patients, and 6 healthy volunteer control subjects. USN was identified by the Behavioural Inattention Test (BIT). During the tasks, brain activity was assessed with fNIRS via changes in oxyHb concentration per unit length. There was no significant difference in the number of errors in the task between the 3 groups. However, in the USN(+) group there was a significantly greater reduction in oxyHb levels in the right parietal association cortex during the prism adaptation task than in the other 2 groups (P < 0.05). There was an immediate improvement in USN symptoms as well as a significant increase in oxyHb levels during the prism adaptation in the channels covering the right frontal and parietal lobes in 2 patients in the USN(+) group (P < 0.05). This result suggested that decreased activity in the right parietal association cortex, which is related to spatial perception, during the prism adaptation task and task-induced reorganization of the right frontal and parietal areas were involved in improvement in USN symptoms.

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