TUESDAY, July 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Award-winning actor Brad Pitt believes he has a rare condition that interferes with his ability to recognize people’s faces.
In a new interview with GQ magazine, Pitt said he thought he had prosopagnosiaan extremely rare neurological disease that makes it difficult to distinguish faces.
“No one believes me!” said Pitt, 58, who has not been officially diagnosed. “I want to meet another [person with it].”
Pitt said the condition was the reason he stayed home so much.
People with the condition may have trouble distinguishing family members or even recognizing their own faces in group photos. They also have difficulty recognizing people out of context, such as seeing a co-worker in a grocery store.
About 2.5% of babies and toddlers are born with the disease, said Dr. James Galvin, director of the University of Miami’s Comprehensive Center for Brain Health.
People can also develop prosopagnosia as a result of a cerebral lesion – brain-damageand degenerative forms of the disease have been associated with conditions such as Alzheimer’sGalvin said in a university press release.
It can be caused at birth by damage to a part of the brain called fusiform gyruswhich is considered a key structure for high-level visual interpretation like face and object recognition.
For people who get the disease from brain damage or disease, it’s usually due to a problem in the right temporal or occipital lobes of the brain, which are essential for memory and visual processing.
Children with prosopagnosia may have difficulty following the plots of TV shows and movies because they have trouble recognizing different characters. However, they do best with cartoons because the characters are simply drawn with clearly defined characteristics and outfits that they wear in each scene.
There are no specific therapies for the condition. Instead, people adapt to it by using other cues to recognize people — clothes, voice, body shape, hairstyle, skin color and skin tone, Galvin said. Clinical trials are underway to explore the use of computer-assisted learning to aid in facial recognition.
The Cleveland Clinic has more on prosopagnosia.
SOURCE: University of Miami, press release, July 8, 2022
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