Development of a rehabilitative program for unilateral neglect

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Purpose: The aim of the present paper is to review several studies which assessed the validity of a visuo-spatial training for the rehabilitation of neglect patients. In addition two peripheral stimulations (TENS and Optokinetic Stimulation) have been studied to assess the improvements of neglect disorders when used in combination with the visuo-spatial training. Also we analyzed the potential effect of training for attention on neglect and, viceversa, the effect of visuo-spatial training on attentional impairments. Methods: the goals have been investigated by both group studies and descriptions of single cases. Results: The visuo-spatial training produced significant improvements on the performance of neglect patients which generalized to every day living situations: the results showed to be stable over time and had positive effects on a variety of other neurological impairments. It was also shown that the improvements are confined to tasks involving spatial exploration of extrapersonal space, but did not extend to other neglect disorders, such as representational and personal neglect. The use of peripheral stimulations, at variance with other studies in the literature, did not add any advantage as compared to the improvements produced by the visuo-spatial training. No transfer between training for neglect and attention was observed. Conclusions: the present review pointed out that neglect disorders can be improved in a clinically meaningful way: the studies described also showed some limitations and proposed the need of further researches in order to extend the improvements to several other aspects of the neglect syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Attention disorders
  • Attention rehabilitation
  • Neglect rehabilitation
  • Recovery of functions
  • Sensory stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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