Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer test reveals high prevalence of attention disorders in stroke patients

Date:
August 27, 2013
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
A majority of stroke patients have problems paying attention and could be helped by brain-training computer games, a new study suggests.

A majority of stroke patients have problems paying attention and could be helped by brain-training computer games, a new study suggests.

Related Articles


Researchers at Imperial College London found that problems such as difficulty filtering out distractions, difficulty following instructions, and reduced alertness are much more common in stroke patients than doctors realise.

Their study, published in Neurology, showed that brain scans and bedside tests can be used to diagnose these three types of attention problems, each of which could be addressed with computer games tailored for the patient's requirements.

An estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke each year. It can cause a wide range of effects on the mind and body, including problems with memory, attention and speech; emotional problems and physical disability.

The study involved 110 patients being treated at Charing Cross Hospital, a major centre for stroke care in west London. Five of them were already diagnosed with a serious attention disorder called neglect, but computerised tests showed that over half of them had attention problems that hadn't been recognised.

The type of problem appeared to depend on which part of the brain had been affected by the stroke. Patients with strokes affecting the front of the brain had difficulty filtering out distraction; strokes towards the back of the brain caused difficulty following instructions; while strokes in the centre of the brain caused a general reduction in alertness.

The researchers suggest that doctors could use brain scans to predict what type of problem a stroke patient would be likely to have. Computerised tests could then confirm the diagnosis, and the patient could be offered therapy based on their individual condition.

The study's senior author, Dr Paul Bentley, from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said: "We found that more than half of stroke patients have some form of attention problem, and these may be missed by routine bedside examinations.

"We've shown that specialised computer games are very sensitive at picking up deficits in stroke patients. They can also be tailor-made for each patient to rehabilitate them for the specific deficit they show. These findings therefore suggest a new strategy by which stroke treatments can be personalised depending on information gained from patients' brain scans."

Patients might also benefit from tailored drug therapies, Dr Bentley said. The three types of attention problems the researchers found correspond to three networks in the brain controlled by different brain chemicals. Drugs that modulate the release of these chemicals are already available for use in other neurological conditions, which the researchers suggest exploring as specific treatments for patients with different types of impairments.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Rinne, M. Hassan, D. Goniotakis, K. Chohan, P. Sharma, D. Langdon, D. Soto, P. Bentley. Triple dissociation of attention networks in stroke according to lesion location. Neurology, 2013; 81 (9): 812 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a2ca34

Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Computer test reveals high prevalence of attention disorders in stroke patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827112110.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2013, August 27). Computer test reveals high prevalence of attention disorders in stroke patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827112110.htm
Imperial College London. "Computer test reveals high prevalence of attention disorders in stroke patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827112110.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins