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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2007;23(4):271-9. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

Deficits in facial emotion processing in mild cognitive impairment.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7226, USA. eteng@ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with Alzheimer disease consistently demonstrate impaired performance on tests of facial emotion processing. However, it remains unclear how early in the neurodegenerative process these deficits emerge.

METHODS:

We approached this question by examining facial emotional processing in a 'pre-dementia' condition, amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Nine single-domain amnestic MCI subjects, 14 multiple-domain amnestic MCI subjects (MCI-MD), and 68 normal control subjects were assessed with the Florida Affect Battery.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for age and gender, analyses of performance across the facial affect processing subtests of the Florida Affect Battery demonstrated intact performance in the single-domain MCI group but significantly impaired performance in the MCI-MD group, particularly on a test of facial affect discrimination. Within the MCI-MD group, men performed disproportionately worse than women. Performance on facial affect discriminations in the MCI-MD group correlated most robustly with performance on tests of frontal/executive function.

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest that facial emotion processing can be impaired in MCI prior to the more marked cognitive deficits seen with clinically diagnosed Alzheimer disease.

PMID:
17351319
DOI:
10.1159/000100829
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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