Unilateral heminegligence or spatial neglectIt is a neurological disorder that expresses itself in a very strange way in patients who suffer from it. More precisely, it causes the person, who apparently maintains a normal level of consciousness, to be unable to recognize stimuli coming to him from one side of his body.
In this article, you can see the symptoms associated with heminegligence, the possible causes and treatments related to the appropriate medical intervention for this type of patient.
What is heminegligence? Go into details
Heminegligence can refer to two similar phenomena. On the one hand, can be used to denote a symptomAnd on the other hand, it is also possible to use it as an equivalent of the term “unilateral neglect syndrome”, which is the neurological disorder to which the symptom corresponds.
As a symptom, heminegligence is the inability to consciously notice things coming from one side in relation to the axis crossing the body itself from the forehead to the nape of the neck.
On the other hand, unilateral neglect syndrome is the clinical picture of a person apparently not paying attention to anything on one of their sides (or, more technically, one of their hemicoses. ), which means that he does not even pay attention to consciously perceive it it also does not perform actions located in this half of the hemicuerpo.
For example, a person with heminegligence will not be able to notice a dog that is to the left of his field of vision, but neither will he be able to completely shave his beard: only half of his face will be shaved.
On the other hand, if a careless person is asked to draw a square as he sees it, he will only draw half of it, but if he changes his position and looks to the side opposite to the previous one, he will draw the half that had been omitted and not the other.
The clock test to detect this syndrome
So, one of the typical tests used in clinics to find out if a person has heminegligence it consists of asking him to draw a clock. If you have this syndrome, you will only pull one of the halves, and the other will not be drawn or will appear clearly “atrophied”.
Usually the hemibody that is “ignored” by people with heminegligence is the left, So that the clock is drawn in such a way that the handle cannot exceed 6 or 7 o’clock.
Some of the typical symptoms of spatial neglect syndrome are:
- Inability to detect facts occurring in one of the halves of the visual field.
- Problems detecting soft sounds picked up mainly by the ear of the affected hemibody.
- Inability to draw one of the halves of a scene or a figure.
- Problems with dressing, shaving or maintaining personal hygiene.
- Disorganization in the chains of actions they undertake.
- frequent disorientation, Not knowing how to get to the scene, or not recognizing them.
- Memory problems are common.
Causes of one-sided neglect of space
The most common causes of heminegligence are usually ischemic attacks that allow blood to flow to parts of the brain and kill neurons in that area. Therefore, cerebral infarction is usually part of the medical history of this type of patient.
It’s an attention problem
Although heminegligence appears to be a problem that leaves half the body (and the visual field) completely ignored, the truth is that it’s basically an attention problem that affects the information that comes from one of the hemicoses. This is known because, on an unconscious level, people with this neurological disease have been seen if they react to stimuli captured only from the affected side.
For example, if they are shown a drawing of a house with the left side of the guinea pig on fire, they will make sure they see a normal house. However, so right after being asked to select certain words, they tend to choose those related to the semantic field of fire and conflagration.
Also, if presented to them a photograph of two people with a friend or family member on the leftThey will say to see no one known, but the parts of the brain that are activated when they see something familiar will be activated, which will not happen when showing two photographs of unknown people.
Heminegligence (usually) results in a masking of the perception of information coming from the left, but that does not mean that it is not at any degree of intensity. It is not about “blindness” of half the body.
Usually, the disease that produces heminegligence is severe enough to cause this disorder never quite goes awayAlthough it may improve slightly over time, due to neural plasticity.
Consequently, the treatments used are palliative, linked to learning methods to carry out daily life as normally as possible. Of course, they will almost always need regular assistance.