January 22, 2013
Impaired social cognition in multiple sclerosis
As if it weren't enough that our bodies turn on us and make us dependent, and our minds lose things and start storing socks in the freezer and ice cream in the hall cupboard, it appears that we lose the ability to interact appropriately with the people around us, often the very people we need to keep us from falling apart.
This study looked at how people with MS responded to a film of four people sitting around a dinner table having a discussion. At various points in the movie, it is stopped and the patient is asked to identify the emotion being expressed by the person at the table.
Apparently we don't do so well at that.
Like autistic people...we seem to lose the ability to read people's faces appropriately, which might account for a few mixed experiences I've had lately.
Of course, this study also gives us an excuse for misunderstanding people. We can just trot out the statement, "Remember - we MSers fail the MASC! You have to tell me what you are thinking!"
Finally, a reason to have real discussions, instead of being expected to read minds.