Congratulations Dr. Heilman on the publication of “Upper Vertical Spatial Neglect With A Right Temporal Lobe Stroke,” in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology.
Individuals with a hemispheric infarction often reveal inattention to, or neglect of, contralesional lateral space (ie, hemispatial neglect). Individuals with a bilateral ventral temporal-occipital lesion have been shown to demonstrate upper vertical neglect, and those with a bilateral parietal-occipital lesion have been shown to demonstrate lower vertical neglect. However, to our knowledge, there have been no reports of individuals with vertical neglect from a unilateral hemispheric lesion. We report on a 72-year-old, right-handed male who developed transient left hemiparesis. On examination, he had left facial weakness and he bisected horizontal lines to the left of the midline (ie, ipsilesional neglect). In addition, on a line bisection test involving nine vertical line bisections, he demonstrated downward deviation in the majority of the trials; healthy individuals deviate upward. On brain imaging, our patient revealed a cerebral infarction, primarily affecting the right temporal lobe; the temporal lobes contain the ventral attentional network that allocates attention upward. There is also some evidence that, whereas the right hemisphere mediates attention upward, the left mediates attention downward. Therefore, injury to the right temporal lobe may account for our patient’s upward neglect with downward deviation. However, further studies are needed to better understand the pathophysiology of vertical neglect.