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Parkinson's makes 'reading the emotions of others difficult'

Parkinson's makes 'reading the emotions of others difficult'
11th March 2010

People with Parkinson's disease often feel socially awkward because they find it difficult to gauge the emotions of others, a new study has claimed.

Parkinson's patients find it harder to recognise expressions of emotion in the voice and faces of authors, according to an article published in the Neuropsychology journal.

Study of 1,295 patients showed a "robust" link between Parkinson's and "deficits in recognising emotions, especially negative emotions", the article claims.

The author of the article, Heather Gray PhD, said that understand this deficit was important in moving the treatment and care of people with Parkinson's disease forward.

"The first step is to educate patients and their close associates about the potential for emotion recognition difficulties, so they can learn to manage some of the social consequences, such as misunderstanding and frustration," Ms Gray said.

Although there are no exact figures for the number of people living with Parkinson's disease, it is estimated that four million people around the world have the condition.

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