Lasting amelioration of spatial neglect by treatment with neck muscle vibration even without concurrent training
Leif Johannsen, Hermann Ackermann, Hans-Otto Karnath Departments of Cognitive and General Neurology University of Tuebingen Tuebingen Germany
Objective: It has been shown recently that neck muscle vibration in combination with an exploration training leads to lasting amelioration of spatial neglect. The present study evaluated whether vibration of the left posterior neck muscles alone has the potential to induce lasting reduction in spatial neglect. Design: A multiple baseline design was used to control for spontaneous recovery or uncontrolled change caused by external events. Patients: Six patients with spatial neglect following right hemisphere stroke. Methods: Daily vibration treatment of the left posterior neck muscles for 20 minutes on 10 consecutive days. During vibration, patients did not perform any specific activities. Results: We observed significant amelioration of spatial neglect after terminating the vibration therapy. The improvement was found to be stable at follow-up testing about 1.4 years later. Conclusion: Vibration of the left posterior neck muscles is a useful, non-invasive tool supplementing the established methods of spatial neglect treatment. It does not necessarily require the patient's co-operation, which is an important advantage especially in the early phases of rehabilitation.
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Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine S:T Johannesgatan 22A SE-753 12 Uppsala, Sweden