Boosting the efficacy of prism adaptation therapy for post-stroke neglect
Following a stroke or brain injury to the right side of the brain, a large number of patients present with the neurological syndrome ‘hemispatial neglect’. This syndrome causes severe deficits in spatial awareness and attention, causing patients to fail to attend to objects in the left side of space. This has a great impact on both their daily activities and overall rehabilitation. Patients with hemispatial neglect may fail to eat food on the left side of the plate or fail to find their bedroom if it’s located on the left of a corridor. The syndrome also has an impact on postural balance and can impair walking, resulting in patients bumping into obstacles on the left such as furniture or doorways and potentially causing falls and injuries.
Prism adaptation has been the most promising rehabilitation intervention for hemispatial neglect so far. Our research combines this behavioural intervention with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS – a type of non-invasive brain stimulation) to promote larger and longer-lasting improvement in hemispatial neglect symptoms. Through our research, we hope to be able to improve the clinical neurorehabilitation approaches for hemispatial neglect.