Actor Brad Pitt said in a recent interview that he suffers from prosopagnosia, a rare neurological disorder commonly referred to as facial blindness. While Mr. Pete, 58, has never been formally diagnosed, he said on Interview with GQ He struggled for years to recognize people’s faces.
In 2013, he Tell Esquire That his inability to recognize people’s faces had become so severe that he often wanted to isolate himself as a result. “That’s why I stay at home,” he said.
The Times spoke to experts about the condition’s symptoms, causes, and treatments.
What are the symptoms of a face recognition uncle?
The condition is not related to memory loss, visual impairment, or learning difficulties, according to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Prosopagnosia is only face blindness, not color blindness or visual impairment in general, said Dr. Purna Punakdarpour, a behavioral neurologist at Northwestern Medicine. It’s different from forgetting or sometimes struggling to find the right word.
Face recognition blindness varies in severity. Some people with this condition may have difficulty recognizing a familiar face, such as a friend or family member, while others may not even be able to recognize their own reflections. Some people may not be able to distinguish between faces and objects.
There is, too Evidence that suggests People with prosopagnosia may become chronically anxious or depressed due to the isolation and fear associated with the condition. Navigating basic social interactions with prosopagnosia can become risky, and some people avoid contact with other family members and loved ones out of fear that they will not be able to recognize or treat them properly.
What causes a face recognition uncle?
People with facial blindness tend to fall into two categories: those who are born with this condition, and those who acquire it later in life.
Research indicates Although congenital or lifelong prosopagnosia is less common Grades appear Up to one in 50 people may have some form of the condition for life, and scientists hypothesize that may work in families.
“There does not appear to be any obvious structural abnormality” in the brain for those born with this condition, said Dr. Andrei Stojic, MD, director of general neurology at Cleveland Clinic. Since there are no obvious brain lesions in people with congenital prosopagnosia, scientists are not sure why this is.
By contrast, people who acquire facial blindness later in life may have brain lesions as a result of head injury or trauma. Dr. Punakdarpour said people can also acquire the condition after strokes or when they develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Is there a cure for blindness to recognize faces?
Dr. Punakdarpur said there is no cure for the condition, but there are ways to manage it. People with facetightness often focus on features such as hair color, gait style, or voices to distinguish people from one another.
Neurologists generally diagnose prosopagnosia with a series of tests to assess a person’s ability to remember and recognize faces. It can be a lengthy process, because clinicians often go to great lengths to ensure that a patient’s facial blindness is not a symptom of a broader neurodegenerative condition.
Many people with this condition, such as Mr. Pete, will not end up with an official diagnosis. “Many of the challenges he describes, and the problems he has, are not atypical for people who have them,” said Dr. Stojic.
“It can be relatively exhausting for people,” he added. “It’s hard for others to understand.”
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