Pharmacological Treatment of Visuospatial Neglect

Jet van der Kemp, Marit Dorresteijn, Antonia F. Ten Brink, Tanja C.W. Nijboer, Johanna M. A. Visser-Meily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)
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Objectives The aims of the current review were (1) to give an overview of human studies investigating pharmacotherapy to ameliorate visuospatial neglect and (2) to evaluate the quality of those studies. Methods A systematic literature search using PubMed, Scopus, and ResearchGate was conducted in regard to studies that evaluated pharmacological interventions aiming to ameliorate poststroke visuospatial neglect. The search was limited in the following features: species (human), adults (≥18 years of age), language (English), and type of neglect (visuospatial). Two independent authors extracted data on study content and effectiveness and evaluated the quality of studies and methods. Results A total of 11 studies were identified. Three studies were considered to be of moderate quality, the others of low quality. Seven studies represented dopaminergic treatment; 3 studies represented cholinergic treatment; and 1 study represented noradrenergic treatment. Three dopaminergic studies showed primarily positive effects of dopaminergic stimulation on visuospatial neglect, whereas three others showed adverse effects. All 3 cholinergic studies found positive effects in some outcome measures concerning visuospatial neglect. Noradrenergic stimulation improved maintenance of attention when exploring space. Conclusions Currently, cholinergic therapy might be the best option for future research. However, we must emphasize the explorative nature and the limited quality of the reviewed studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-700
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number4
Early online date23 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • pharmacological treatment
  • rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • visuospatial neglect


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