Some Stroke Survivors Can't Recognize Fear, Anger in Others

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) — Damage in some areas of the forebrain may prevent some stroke survivors from being able to recognize anger, disgust and fear, emotions that are related to assessing threats, a small study indicates.

It included 23 young patients who’d survived a stroke that impacted their basal ganglia, an area of the forebrain, and 68 healthy people.

Stroke survivors with damage in the basal ganglia had a reduced ability to recognize threat-related facial expressions in others, suggesting that the basal ganglia plays a role in threat detection.

Researchers also did MRIs on the patients and tested a wide range of the participants’ thinking and motor abilities and social behaviors, and screened them for coexisting conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Physicians should determine how well stroke survivors with basal ganglia damage are able to identify emotions in others and if necessary, assistance with that should be part of their rehabilitation program, the researchers said.

The study was to be presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association meeting in New Orleans.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about post-stroke rehabilitation.