Recovery of Visuospatial Neglect Subtypes and Relationship to Functional Outcome Six Months After Stroke.
Moore MJ., Vancleef K., Riddoch MJ., Gillebert CR., Demeyere N.
Background/Objective. This study aims to investigate how complex visuospatial neglect behavioural phenotypes predict long-term outcomes, both in terms of neglect recovery and broader functional outcomes after 6 months post-stroke. Methods. This study presents a secondary cohort study of acute and 6-month follow-up data from 400 stroke survivors who completed the Oxford Cognitive Screen's Cancellation Task. At follow-up, patients also completed the Stroke Impact Scale questionnaire. These data were analysed to identify whether any specific combination of neglect symptoms is more likely to result in long-lasting neglect or higher levels of functional impairment, therefore warranting more targeted rehabilitation. Results. Overall, 98/142 (69%) neglect cases recovered by follow-up, and there was no significant difference in the persistence of egocentric/allocentric (X2  = .66 and P = .418) or left/right neglect (X2  = .781 and P = .677). Egocentric neglect was found to follow a proportional recovery pattern with all patients demonstrating a similar level of improvement over time. Conversely, allocentric neglect followed a non-proportional recovery pattern with chronic neglect patients exhibiting a slower rate of improvement than those who recovered. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the initial severity of acute allocentric, but not egocentric, neglect impairment acted as a significant predictor of poor long-term functional outcomes (F [9,300] = 4.742, P < .001 and adjusted R2 = .098). Conclusions. Our findings call for systematic neuropsychological assessment of both egocentric and allocentric neglect following stroke, as the occurrence and severity of these conditions may help predict recovery outcomes over and above stroke severity alone.