Examination of 47 independent elderly subjects, matched with a population of patients with acute stroke, found that 55% made at least one omission on a battery of neglect tests. Up to 43% made omissions on any one test. Increasing age and other evidence of cognitive impairment were associated with impaired performance on the battery. Omissions were attributed to an age-related decline in visuo-spatial function. Cut-off points are provided to distinguish between such age-related impairment and visuospatial neglect. The importance of age-matched control studies in developing tests of cognitive impairment in stroke research is highlighted.
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