Lack of Facial Expressions: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

A lack of facial expressions can occur in various conditions. Catatonia is a term that is used to describe a state of stupor or unresponsiveness in a person who is otherwise awake. Lack of facial expressions is one sign of catatonia, which can occur in association with a psychiatric disorder, like schizophrenia. Diseases that cause damage to the brain and its function can also lead to a lack of responsiveness, including a lack of facial expressions. Examples include brain trauma and encephalitis.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/25/2015

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