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Modulation of spatial attention in a child with developmental unilateral neglect
DOBLER, V.B., MANLY, T., Verity, C., Woolrych, J. & Robertson, I.H.
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 45(4), 282-288
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Attentional neglect of left space is one of the most striking acquired neurological disorders of adulthood. Recent evidence indicates a link between left spatial neglect and general right-hemisphere impairments in sustained attention and alertness. Poor sustained attention and alertness is also a central feature of other disorders, particularly childhood attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here we present the case of a 7-year-old male showing that frank neglect can be present in children with sustained attention problems without a clear aetiological event, or obvious structural brain abnormalities as indicated by a normal MRI. Experimental amelioration of the neglect through left-hand movement and externally alerting stimulation by uninformative sounds further suggest close similarities to the adult disorder. We suggest that such distortions of spatial attention may be more common in childhood than previously thought.