Stroke victims could benefit from improved clinical care in the weeks following their illness.
A study published in this month's edition of Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation found that clinical evaluation can help detect spatial neglect.
The condition is a hidden disability which affects between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of stroke patients and can stop them responding to external events that occur on the opposite side of their brain injury.
Dr Anna Barrett, director of stroke rehabilitation research at Kessler Foundation, said that the problem is an attention issue as opposed to a visual one.
"Early detection of spatial neglect after stroke could enable cognitive interventions to improve function and might prevent chronic disability," explained Dr. Barrett.
She believes that spatial neglect can double or triple the disability that a stroke can cause if it is not treated.
According to the Brain Research Trust, an estimated 150,000 people suffer from strokes each year in the UK.