Low-cost therapy can benefit stroke patients

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Promising results from new study which tested a version of visuomotor feedback training for rehabilitating visual neglect.

Visual neglect is a common vision-processing problem experienced by patients after a stroke and researchers say they may have found a low-cost way to address this.

In a new study, published in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, UK scientists assessed the value of a version of visuomotor feedback training (VFT) for rehabilitating visual neglect in the patient’s home. This involved a simple, inexpensive and feasible training of grasping-to-lift rods at the centre.

Comparing the immediate and long-term effects of VFT against control training, when delivered in a home-based setting among 20 participants, they found significantly greater short- and long-term improvements were obtained after VFT when compared to control training in areas including line bisection and Behavioural Inattention Tests. VFT also produced improvements on activities of daily living.

Lead author Dr Stephanie Rossit said: “Visual neglect is a severe disorder and rehabilitation remains a challenge, as currently no approach has been recommended for clinical use. However, this study shows that VFT is an extremely promising therapy for large-scale implementation.”

“In contrast to most available techniques, VFT can be easily taught and administered, it is non-invasive, cost-effective and can be conducted by the patients themselves in their own homes.

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