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    What is prosopagnosia? Know causes, symptoms and treatment

    What is prosopagnosia? Know causes, symptoms and treatment

    What is prosopagnosia? Know causes, symptoms and treatment
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Actor Shenaz Treasury from Ishq Vishk fame said on Tuesday she suffered from prosopagnosia, a rare medical condition in which one fails to recognise people’s faces. A few days earlier, Brad Pitt also said he was suffering from an unusual condition that prevented him from recognising faces

    Actor Shenaz Treasury of ‘Ishq Vishk’ fame Tuesday said she suffered from prosopagnosia, a rare medical condition in which one fails to recognise people’s faces. Treasury announced her ordeal through a series of Instagram stories and asked people to understand that she had a ‘real brain disorder’ and that she was not being a snob or aloof.
    The actor’s announcement comes days after Hollywood actor Brad Pitt said he was suffering from an unusual condition that prevented him from recognising faces. Speaking to GQ Magazine, Pitt said the condition limited his interactions during social events, which impacted his reputation as many people thought of him as “remote and aloof, inaccessible, self-absorbed”.
    According to GQ Magazine, the actor was never officially diagnosed with prosopagnosia although Pitt believes he may suffer from it.
    What is prosopagnosia?
    According to the National Health Service (NHS), a number of people who are diagnosed with prosopagnosia, otherwise known as ‘face blindness’, are unable to recognise their family members, partners or friends. The condition can affect people from birth and can persist for most or all of their life. However, prosopagnosia is not associated with learning disabilities, visual impairments, memory loss or intelligence.
    Impact
    Those diagnosed with prosopagnosia may develop social anxiety disorder and avoid social interactions. They may also have difficulties in forming relationships, the NHS said.
    In some cases, those affected may not be able to recognise their own face in the mirror or in photos. Depression is common among those who have prosopagnosia.
    Causes
    According to NHS, there are two types of prosopagnosia -- developmental prosopagnosia and acquired prosopagnosia. In the first condition, a person can have prosopagnosia without having brain damage. However, in acquired prosopagnosia, the person develops the condition after brain damage, often after suffering from a stroke or head injury.
    Symptoms
    One of the primary symptoms of prosopagnosia is the difficulty to recognise people in daily life, especially people that the person knows, Brad Duchaine, professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College, told NBC’s TODAY.
    While most people feel a sense of familiarity when they see a face, prosopagnosics do not feel it, Duchaine said.
    Treatment
    According to NHS, there is no specific treatment for prosopagnosia although some researchers are working on investigating the causes that lead to the condition. A number of training programmes are also in the works to help improve facial recognition.
    For some people with developmental or acquired prosopagnosia, compensatory strategies may help with person recognition. Compensatory strategies may include recognising people from their voice, clothing or the way they walk.
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