Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

From Einstein to Oprah: Famous faces may help spot early dementia

Date:
August 12, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
A new study suggests that simple tests that measure the ability to recognize and name famous people such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey may help doctors identify early dementia in those 40 to 65 years of age.

A new study suggests that simple tests that measure the ability to recognize and name famous people such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey may help doctors identify early dementia in those 40 to 65 years of age. The research appears in the August 13, 2013, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"These tests also differentiate between recognizing a face and actually naming it, which can help identify the specific type of cognitive impairment a person has," said study author Tamar Gefen, MS, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Gefen worked alongside Emily Rogalski, PhD, also with Northwestern University, for the research.

For the study, 30 people with primary progressive aphasia, a type of early onset dementia that mainly affects language, and 27 people without dementia, all with an average age of 62 were given a test. The test includes 20 famous faces printed in black and white, including John F. Kennedy, Lucille Ball, Princess Diana, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Elvis Presley.

Participants were given points for each face they could name. If the subject could not name the face, he or she was asked to identify the famous person through description. Participants gained more points by providing at least two relevant details about the person. The two groups also underwent MRI brain scans.

Researchers found that the people who had early onset dementia performed significantly worse on the test, scoring an average of 79 percent in recognition of famous faces and 46 percent in naming the faces, compared to 97 percent in recognition and 93 percent on naming for those free of dementia.

The study also found that people who had trouble putting names to the faces were more likely to have a loss of brain tissue in the left temporal lobe of the brain, while those with trouble recognizing the faces had tissue loss on both sides of the temporal lobe.

"In addition to its practical value in helping us identify people with early dementia, this test also may help us understand how the brain works to remember and retrieve its knowledge of words and objects," Gefen said.

The study was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Center for Research Resources.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Gefen, C. Wieneke, A. Martersteck, K. Whitney, S. Weintraub, M.- M. Mesulam, E. Rogalski. Naming vs knowing faces in primary progressive aphasia: A tale of 2 hemispheres. Neurology, 2013; 81 (7): 658 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a08f83

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "From Einstein to Oprah: Famous faces may help spot early dementia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812165901.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, August 12). From Einstein to Oprah: Famous faces may help spot early dementia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812165901.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "From Einstein to Oprah: Famous faces may help spot early dementia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812165901.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins