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OBJECTIVES: Comparatively little research has been conducted on right neglect after left brain damage. The authors sought to assess contralateral neglect in subacute left hemisphere stroke patients using a comprehensive test battery validated in a large control group after right hemisphere stroke.METHODS: Seventy-eight left hemisphere stroke patients were assessed. The test battery included a preliminary assessment of anosognosia and visual extinction, a clinical assessment of gaze orientation and personal neglect, and paper-and-pencil tests of spatial neglect in the peripersonal space. Only nonverbal tests were used.RESULTS: Drawing and cancellation tasks revealed neglect in 10 to 13% of patients. The combined battery was more sensitive than any single test alone. A total of 43.5% of patients showed some degree of neglect on at least one measure. Anatomic analyses showed that neglect was more common and severe when the posterior association cortex was damaged.CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of occurrence of right neglect was, as expected, much lower than that reported in a study using the same assessment battery in right brain damage stroke patients. Nevertheless, neglect was found in a substantial proportion of patients at a subacute stage, suggesting that it should be considered in the rehabilitation planning of left brain damage stroke patients.  

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