Assessment and Management of Neurological Unilateral Spatial Inattention/Neglect Syndrome

Hannu Laukkanen, OD, MEd, FAAO

Emily McCart, OD

COPE #16593-NO

Expires August 1, 2009

3 credits, $59

Section: Neuro-Optometry


Unilateral spatial inattention, also known as spatial neglect, is a condition typically associated with brain injury. Patients with this condition have reduced awareness of one hemifield, usually on the side contralateral to the lesion or injury. Unilateral spatial inattention/ neglect (USI/N) is commonly the result of traumatic or acquired brain injury (e.g., a stroke) and can be quite variable in its presentation and severity. USI/N typically requires an extensive battery of tests to confirm its presence or absence and thus is often not identified by care providers. This lack of recognition can leave USI/N patients underserved with respect to their visual needs.

In this course, we will review some of the common definitions, causes, classifications, rates of occurrence, and manifestations of USI/N. We will also review some of the more common procedures used to detect and diagnose and treat the condition, and will discuss the clinical prognosis for USI/N patients.