Project area or title
Anosognosia for hemiparesis following stroke: Theory, function and rehabilitation
Showing a lack of insight into one’s illness is a relatively common component of several neurological and psychiatric conditions. Following stroke, some patients may deny the resulting limb weakness or show a complete or partial unawareness of it. This problem is called anosognosia for hemiparesis (AHP) and is typically detrimental to physical and mental health outcomes. As one might expect, AHP poses a significant challenge for rehabilitation as affected individuals do not fully recognise the problem that needs addressing, may have unrealistic goals and can show poor compliance with the rehabilitation process For example, behaviour could manifest as simply as someone attempting to stand even when this will undoubtedly result in a fall; or when asked to complete a task typically requiring bimanual coordination, the individual may perform the task with the intact limb as if the impaired limb was also contributing. Influential recent accounts of the disorder suggest that AHP emerges because affected stroke survivors maintain the normal motor intention to move but fail to recognise the consequences of their impaired actions; AHP has a strong association with damage to the right hemisphere of the brain and related disorders (e.g. the neglect syndrome). The proposed research will invite the doctoral candidate to consider contemporary theories underpinning the basis for AHP, investigate functional behaviour in affected stroke survivors and develop theory-driven approaches to rehabilitation and management. Research undertaken will highlight the importance of this relatively poorly understood disorder and investigate its impact on physical and mental health outcomes.
Physical Health and Mental Health Multimorbidity
University of Birmingham