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Claire de Thoisy-Méchin

Press Relations

Tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 23 34

Email: claire.de_thoisy-mechin@upmc.fr


In English:

Katherine Tyrka

International Press Relations

tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 51 05

Email: katherine.tyrka@upmc.fr

Brain and Spatial Attention: Can the left hemisphere compensate for lesions on the right hemisphere?

Dr. Paolo Bartolomeo, Inserm Research Director and Head of the PICNIC LAB team at the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute – the ICM (a joint Inserm-CNRS-UPMC institute), and his collaborators published the results of their research on "unilateral spatial neglect" also known by the term "spatial neglect” in the journal Brain on 21st January, 2015. People with this disorder act as if they were unaware of the left half of the world. This disorder occurs mostly after a lesion of the right hemisphere of the brain, for example following stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident) and it worsens the disability by hampering rehabilitation and recovery. Scientists have therefore sought predictors of persistence of the disorder, to offer patients an appropriate rehabilitation.

The published work shows that the two hemispheres may partially compensate for each other in case of injury, through mechanisms known as "brain plasticity", of which little is currently known. However, the results suggest that this compensation requires that the two hemispheres "talk" via connections—tracts of white matter formed by the extensions of uninjured neurons. .

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