Update on the Clinical Approach to Spatial Neglect

  • A. M. BarrettEmail author
  • K. E. Houston
Behavior (H. Kirshner, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Behavior


Purpose of Review

Spatial neglect is asymmetric orienting and action after a brain lesion, causing functional disability. It is common after a stroke; however, it is vastly underdocumented and undertreated. This article addresses the implementation gap in identifying and treating spatial neglect, to reduce disability and improve healthcare costs and burden.

Recent Findings

Professional organizations published recommendations to implement spatial neglect care. Physicians can lead an interdisciplinary team: functionally relevant spatial neglect assessment, evidence-based spatial retraining, and integrated spatial and vision interventions can optimize outcomes. Research also strongly suggests spatial neglect adversely affects motor systems. Spatial neglect therapy might thus “kick-start” rehabilitation and improve paralysis recovery.


Clinicians can implement new techniques to detect spatial neglect and lead interdisciplinary teams to promote better, integrated spatial neglect care. Future studies of brain imaging biomarkers to detect spatial neglect, and real-world applicability of prism adaptation treatment, are needed.


Spatial neglect Right brain Cognitive rehabilitation Prism adaptation treatment Implementation science Functional brain imaging Brain network activation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

A.M. Barrett is an employee of the Kessler Foundation and also reports grants from Dart Neuroscience LLC, grants from National Institutes of Health, others from eMedicine/WebMD, grants from Bright Cloud International Corp., outside the submitted work. Kevin Houston declares no potential conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stroke Rehabilitation ResearchKessler FoundationEast HanoverUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical School, Department of OphthalmologySpaulding Rehabilitation HospitalBostonUSA

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