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A.M. Barrett of Kessler Foundation authors editorial on spatial neglect study in Neurology

Study by Rousseaux and colleagues in Neurology contributes to translational stroke care

West Orange, NJ. August 28, 2013.  A.M. Barrett, MD, a cognitive neurologist and clinical researcher, authored the editorial, Picturing the body in spatial neglect: Descending a staircase, (doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a82571) published ahead of print on August 28 by Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The editorial addresses the research article in the same issue: Rousseaux M, Honoré J, Vuilluemeier P,  Saj A: Neuroanatomy of space, body and posture perception in patients with right hemisphere stroke, Neurology 81, 2013 (doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a823a7).  This study by researchers from the Universities of Geneva and Lille, contributes to translational stroke care, according to Dr. Barrett, generating data that can be leveraged to reduce in-hospital and community stroke morbidity.  Dr. Barrett, an expert in the hidden disability called spatial neglect, is director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation.  

About half of people who have a stroke end up with difficulty processing or reacting to things on one side of their body. This condition, which most often complicates recovery from right brain stroke, is known as spatial neglect. Often under diagnosed, it impedes rehabilitation, lengthens hospital stays, and increases risk for injury.  The misconception among clinicians that motor recovery is completely separate from spatial function, contributes to underdetection, said Dr. Barrett, as well as the belief that spatial neglect resolves quickly and completely.

The article by Rousseaux et al sheds light on the difficulties that persist in identifying this common disabling disorder, said Dr. Barrett. “Clinicians may be missing manifestations that are outside the visual domain. Rousseaux et al suggest that body-based exploratory movements and postural deficits are important components of spatial neglect that independently contribute to disability.”  

Dr.  Barrett is also professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and chief of Neurorehabilitation Program Innovation, Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation.

About Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation

Research studies span all domains of post-stroke cognitive dysfunction, but emphasize hidden disabilities of functional vision (spatial bias and spatial neglect). Students, resident physicians, and post-doctoral trainees are mentored in translational neuroscience of rehabilitation.  Dr. Barrett and her colleagues work closely with the clinical staff at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.  Among their collaborative efforts are the founding of the Network for Spatial Neglect and development of the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (KF-NAPTM). Stroke Research receives funding from the Department of Education/NIDRR; the National Institutes of Health/NICHD/NCMRR; Kessler Foundation; the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey; and the Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Improvement.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit



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