Neuropharmacologic treatment of hemineglect: A case report comparing bromocriptine and methylphenidate

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Abstract

Individuals who have hemineglect fail to attend to stimuli presented on the side of the body contralateral to a brain lesion. Although in animal studies the severity of neglect correlates with the degree of dopamine depletion, in hemineglect patients dopamine-enhancing medications have produced inconsistent results. We present a case of hemineglect following a right cerebrovascular accident in a 68-year-old man treated consecutively with methylphenidate and bromocriptine. Tests sensitive to neglect were administered during treatment with methylphenidate, then after all medications had been discontinued, then then when the patient was taking low and moderate doses of bromocriptine, and again after all medications had been discontinued for 4 and 26 days. Methylphenidate was superior to no drug treatment. Bromocriptine produced more improvement in neglect than methylphenidate. Although the patient showed an exacerbation of his neglect after withdrawal from methylphenidate, performance gains persisted after withdrawal from bromocriptine. Treatment effects appear related to medication choice, timing of drug treatment, and the adaptability of dopaminergic receptor systems.

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Hurford, P., Stringer, A. Y., & Jann, B. (1998). Neuropharmacologic treatment of hemineglect: A case report comparing bromocriptine and methylphenidate. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 79(3), 346–349. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-9993(98)90019-3

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