The effects of stroke on classically nondominant hemisphere functions have received less attention than those on the dominant hemisphere, but visuospatial neglect and denial of illness both produce significant morbidity.
The early literature on denial of illness is discussed and the etiological theories are examined. These are explanations based on deficits of higher mental function, impaired sensory input (especially proprioceptive), an abnormal representation of body image, psychodynamic defense mechanisms, and/or premorbid personality factors.
Denial of illness is an important consequence of stroke. No explanation thus far proposed is entirely satisfactory. The consequences on rehabilitation and strategies for therapy have not been adequately investigated.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association