19 March 2010

Parkinson's Disease Makes It Harder to Figure out How Other People Feel

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Scientists are beginning to find out why people with Parkinson's disease often feel socially awkward

Parkinson's patients find it harder to recognize expressions of emotion in other people's faces and voices, report two studies published by the American Psychological Association.

One of the studies raises questions about how deep brain stimulation, the best available treatment for patients who no longer respond to medication, more strongly affects the recognition of fear and sadness. A neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson's causes tremors, stiffness and balance problems, as well as fairly frequent depression and dementia.

In the March issue of Neuropsychology, Heather Gray, PhD, and Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, report that people with Parkinson's disease, compared with matched controls, often have difficulty discerning how others are feeling.

(ScienceDaily)

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