Saturday, 2 July 2011

Neurological Practice - Paper Session.

“Understanding Prism adaptation as a potential treatment for unilateral spatial neglect.”
“Understanding Prism adaptation as a potential treatment for unilateral spatial neglect.”
Turner AJ, University of the West of England, Bristol.

Before attending this paper session I was unaware of the Prism adaptation. After listening to the session I was interested in finding out more. From a quick bit of research into the technique this is what I have found out along with what was expressed within the session:

A large proportion of right-hemisphere stroke patients show hemispatial neglect—a neurological deficit of attention, perception and representation presenting as left-sided neglect, inducing many functional debilitating effects on everyday life for example difficulties may arise within mobility, writing, reading and object description etc.
Prism adaptation is a bottom up approach based on the idea of procedural learning and spatial mapping. It is commonly applied by having a person put on goggles with wedge prisms that laterally displace the visual field by around 12degrees adapting the individuals proprioception. The person then interacts with the environment, for example, by pointing toward visual targets.

From the study presented it was revealed that a course of prism adaptation can have positive improvements for stroke patients within developing everyday skills and task participation. It should be recognised however that more research is needed within this area.
The study also revealed that the effects of the technique began to become functionally visible within three days of practice and then could last for two days before the effects wearing off. 
Finally it is important to remember that each individual stroke patient is different and where they are on the recovery curve will impact on the effectiveness of this technique.

The technique seems that it could be easy and simple to carry and could prove to be effective in Stroke/Neuro-rehabilitation. With some further research It could be an important technique to incorporate into clinical practice.

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