2010 issue 2


Volume 19, issue 2

Original article

Anosognosia, unilateral neglect and depression among patients with right hemisphere stroke

Marta Witkowska1, Dariusz Wieczorek2, Daria Biechowska1, Krzysztof Jodzio1
1. Instytut Psychologii Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego
2. Klinika Rehabilitacji Gdańskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2010, 19(2): 127–132
Keywords: anosognosia, unilateral neglect, depression, cerebral stroke


Objectives. Many patients in neurology wards are not aware of their condition, even if they have no generalized cognitive impairments. They often do not realize they have neurological deficits resulting from brain damage, which considerably impedes their treatment and effective rehabilitation. The main aim of the study was to assess comorbidity of anosognosia, unilateral neglect and/or depression in patients with stroke of the right cerebral hemisphere.
Method. The study sample consisted only of right-hemisphere stroke patients, selected on the grounds of CT scans and medical history data. An interview with the patient was followed by an assessment performed in the same stable order using the Beck Depression Inventory, a standardized interview for anosognosia, the Line Bisection task, and the letter "e" deletion test.
Results. A total of 37 right-handed patients after cerebral stroke (30 men, 7 women) participated in the study. In 16 patients (43.2%) anosognosia-type disorders were noted, while over 50% of the sample had symptoms of moderate depression. Unilateral neglect symptoms were diagnosed in 43.2% of the patients. However, no statistically significant relationship was found between the observed disorders.
Conclusions. Although anosognosia was often concurrent with depression and/or hemineglect, in some patients it had a selective, or isolated form. The most frequent cause of anosognosia was stroke situated in deep structures of the right cerebral hemisphere.

Address for correspondence:
mgr psychologii Marta Witkowska
Instytut Psychologii Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego
ul. Bażyńskiego 4, 80-952 Gdańsk