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Prosopagnosia is a disease whose essence is a problem with face recognition. The patient cannot spot his relatives in a group of strangers, and when friends greet him on the street, he is convinced that he is seeing them for the first time in his life. Such problems are faced by, inter alia, actor Brad Pitt. What are the causes and symptoms of prosopagnosia? Can you cure facial blindness?

Prosopagnosia , otherwisefacial agnosiaorface blindness , and commonly Brad Pitt's syndrome , is the inability to recognize the face as a whole. As a consequence, familiar faces become foreign to the patient. It should be noted that the lack of facial recognition skills is not related to vision problems, distraction or lower intellectual performance.

It is estimated that up to 2 percent may suffer from prosopagnosia of varying severity. population.

Prosopagnosia - causes

Scientists aren't sure about the causes of prosopagnosia. They suppose thatface blindnessis caused by a malfunctioningtemporal lobeor the neural pathways connecting different parts of the brain. These are the areas of the brain that are responsible for comparing the images currently viewed with those that have been seen and remembered before.

There is also a hypothesis that the cause of facial agnosia may also bedamage to the visual cortex in the right hemisphere of the brain , which is responsible for the perception of visual sensations, the corpus callosum, the junction of the occipital lobe or gyrus hippocampus.

In addition, scientists suspect that the disorder may be a result of agenetic mutation .

Therefore, prosopagnosia can not only be congenital, but it can also occur as a result of an accident in which one of these parts of the brain is damaged.

Prosopagnosia - symptoms

Depending on the severity of prosopagnosia, patients haveproblems with recognizing facesof family members, as well as close or distant friends. In extreme forms of prosopagnosia, the patient may not recognize the face not only of his relatives, e.g. spouse or mother, but also his own face.

Interestingly, people with prosopagnosia often also suffer fromtopographic agnosia , the essence of which isinability to recognizeplaces . Patients with topographic amnesia get lost in places they know and sometimes have problems with getting home.

Some of them also have problems recognizing other specific things, e.g. distinguishing an apple from a pear.

Prosopagnosia - how do people with Brad Pitt syndrome cope?

People with prosopagnosia can recognize relatives and friendsby special signs , e.g. a mole on the face, protruding ears or a characteristic nose, as well as other clues, e.g. hairstyle , voice tone, smell, style of walking, behavior or type of clothes.

Therefore, it is enough for them to remember a given detail. Sickalso helps the context . It is easier for them to recognize a teacher at school than on the street, or a colleague from work in the office than in a shopping mall.

They can also, for example, recognize a specific neighbor by the fact that he usually walks the dog they recognize (however, if the same neighbor goes out without the dog, he will be considered a stranger).

Prosopagnosia - treatment

There is no cure or any form of therapy that can cure prosopagnosia. In people who develop the disease as a result of brain damage, such as after a stroke or severe trauma to the brain, drugs that generally improve cerebral circulation can be used.

In some countries, psychological therapy is used, which consists of special training and memory exercises.

More information on prosopagnosia can be found at

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