Comparison of Facial Emotion Recognition in Alzheimer's Dementia and Frontotemporal Dementia

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Psychology, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare the performances of facial emotion recognition in patients with Alzheimer's Dementia (AD) with patients with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and healthy controls.
Method: The present study was a descriptive (causal- comparative) research in which patients with AD (n=50), patients with FTD (n=46) and healthy controls (n=50) were selected through convenience sampling. By means the Emotion Recognition Task (ERT), we assessed the recognition of facial emotional expression (happiness, anger, disgust, sadness, fear, surprise) across four intensities in these cohorts. Then, the two-way ANOVA test was used to analyze the data.
Results: In the assessment of task, for all emotions (other than happiness), the lowest scores were found in the FTD group. There were no significant differences on the happiness scores between groups. Patients with FTD performed lower than patients with AD and control on the emotions anger, disgust and sadness. Patients with AD had lower anger, disgust and sadness scores than the control group (p<0/001), but in fear and surprise, there were no significant differences between AD and FDT groups. However, they had lower scores in these emotions than the control group (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Our results revealed that emotion recognition deficits in both AD and FTD groups. The assessment of emotion recognition can improve the differential diagnosis of AD from FTD, and lead to better therapeutic interventions.


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