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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 17, Issue 3-4, Pages 169-176

Improving Neglect by TMS

Brigida Fierro,1 Filippo Brighina,1 and Edoardo Bisiach2

1Dipartimento di Neurologia, Oftalmologia, Otorinolaringoiatria e Psichiatria, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
2Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy

Received 21 November 2006; Accepted 21 November 2006

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hemispatial neglect refers to the defective ability of patients to explore or act upon the side of space contralateral to the lesion and to attend to stimuli presented in that portion of space. Evidence from animal models suggests that many of the behavioural sequelae associated with visual neglect may result not solely from the size of the lesion, but also from a pathological state of increased inhibition exerted on the damaged hemisphere by the contralesional hemisphere. On the basis of these potential mechanisms underlying neglect, in this review we discuss therapeutic approaches, focusing particularly on recent research using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This technique, besides representing an ideal tool to investigate visuo-spatial attentive mechanisms in humans, has shown promising beneficial effects that might have an impact on clinical practice.