Emotion recognition in mild cognitive impairment
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 20:18 by Donna McCade
The aims of this research were firstly, to investigate whether emotion recognition abilities differ amongst Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) subtypes and secondly, to explore the real-life implications of emotion recognition deficits in MCI patients. In Study 1, 19 MCI patients with predominantly impaired memory (i.e., amnestic MCI; aMCI), 18 MCI patients with non-memory deficits (i.e., non-amnestic MCI; naMCI) and 19 age- and education-matched healthy control subjects were assessed with three emotion recognition tests differing in task demands (i.e., the provision of response prompts, facial or bodily displays of affect). Emotion recognition deficits were shown for aMCI, but not naMCI, patients regardless of task demands, with anger recognition selectively impaired. In Study 2, the emotion recognition abilities of 29 aMCI patients, 27 naMCI patients, and 22 control subjects were assessed. Self-report measures assessed subject functional disability, whilst informants rated caregiver burden. An emotion recognition deficit for anger was evident again for the amnestic subtype. Whilst patient groups reported greater social dysfunction than control subjects, a relationship between social functioning and anger recognition was evident only for naMCI patients. Caregiver burden and anger recognition were significantly associated for aMCI patients. Results suggest that impaired emotion recognition abilities are differentially affected in MCI subtypes potentially reflecting diverse degeneration of brain structures modulating emotional processing. Screening to detect emotion recognition impairment in MCI patients and interventions targeted at patients and caregivers is warranted.