Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Emotional perception deficits in ALS

Zimmerman EK, Eslinger PJ, Simmons Z, Barrett AM.  Cog Behav Neurol 2007; 20: 79-82

Cognitive deficits occur in up to half of ALS patients, particularly bulbar ALS, including early bulbar ALS patients who are not demented. 

13 subjects with bulbar ALS  from teh Hershey ALS Center were given 2 tasks: the emotional faces task, in which they were required to point or say the word denoting the emotional facial expression (happy, sad, angry, afraid, disgusted).  Second, they were asked to respond to tape recording of emotionally intoned sentenced and identify the emotion conveyed. 

The ALS group did worse on the MMSE and GDS, control tasks for dementia and depression.  They also did worse on the facial task, especially for faces connoting sad, disgusted and surprised faces.  They did normally on the prosody task, but by emotion did worse on the surprised prosody recognition task. 

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