Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
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Pathogenesis of subcortical visuo-spatial neglect. A HMPAO SPECT study

The pathophysiology of neuropsychological disorders due to right deep-seated hemispheric lesions remains a debated point. We undertook this study to check the hypothesis according to which remote cortical dysfunction could be responsible for the occurrence of neglect. Twenty-eight patients presenting with a right-sided subcortical stroke were studied. A neuropsychological battery of tests suitable for assessment of possible visuo-spatial neglect was performed as well as HMPAO SPECT. Neglect was observed in 15 cases out of 28. The lesion's site (at CT and/or MRI) did not allow discrimination between patients without neglect and patients with neglect. The latter however could be distinguished from the former by the presence of a remote decrease in cortical blood flow in the right temporo-parietal region. By suggesting that cortical involvement is necessary for the occurrence of neglect, the results were interpreted according to a network approach in which subcortical neglect is attributed to a cortical deprivation from afferent input in the posterior part of the brain.



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