Face Blindness (Prosopagnosia, Facial Agnosia)

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Is there any treatment?

The focus of any treatment should be to help the individual with prosopagnosia develop compensatory strategies. Adults who have the condition as a result of stroke or brain trauma can be retrained to use other clues to identify individuals.

What is the prognosis?

Prosopagnosia can be socially crippling. Individuals with the disorder often have difficulty recognizing family members and close friends. They often use other ways to identify people, such as relying on voice, clothing, or unique physical attributes, but these are not as effective as recognizing a face. Children with congenital prosopagnosia are born with the disability and have never had a time when they could recognize faces. Greater awareness of autism, and the autism spectrum disorders, which involve communication impairments such as prosopagnosia, is likely to make the disorder less overlooked in the future.

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research related to prosopagnosia in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Much of this research focuses on finding better ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure disorders, such as prosopagnosia.

Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "Prosopagnosia." National Institutes of Health (NIH). 14 Feb. 2007. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/prosopagnosia/Prosopagnosia.htm>.

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