Chronic anosognosia: a case report and theoretical account

G Cocchini, N Beschin, S Della Sala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Unawareness of motor disorders (anosognosia) has often been reported after brain lesions, and it has been considered a temporary condition common in the acute and post-acute phases. The presence of anosognosia in a chronic phase (i.e. lasting more than few weeks) is a rare occurrence, thought to be the result of reasoning deficits which prevent patients from performing an adequate check of reality. Although this assumption is widely shared amongst researchers, only a few studies have actually addressed this issue. We report on the case of a patient (NS) who was still showing anosognosia for hemiplegia I year after a traumatic brain-head injury, while his reasoning abilities were well preserved. By means of a series of tests and experiments, we evaluated the main theoretical approaches. NS's long-lasting anosognosia is discussed in terms of a combination of clinical manifestations, whereby personal neglect and motor-sensory information play a key role in preventing awareness, whereas memory difficulties in updating pre-existing personal schema may be crucial in maintaining NS's anosognosic status. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2030-2038
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume40
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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