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Discussion Starter #1
I recently read another poster's comment about her problems with brain fog and face recognition and it really got my attention. I know brain fog is common with lupus, but I'm curious as to how many of you have a problem recognizing faces of people you know. How bad is it? Is it only with people you know casually or with anyone you know? I've never been good at names but I was always OK with faces, but the last couple of years I've really embarrased myself by not recognizing someone I've met casually. I have no problem with people I know well, but if I've only seen you a few times, I'll probably not recognize you on the street. I compare myself to my husband who will recognize anyone he has met only once or briefly and he has no problem. Is this a problem specific to lupus and part of the brain fog?
 

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Hi Jesse,

I can't really answer your question but I used to have a photographic memory and always recognised people even years after. I certainly wouldn't now and often, with people I have known for years, I vaguely recognise the face but I have absolutely no idea who they are. It's quite embarrassing as I have to wait until someone else to say their name before it dawns on me.

Katharine
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep, Katherine, that sounds familiar. I wonder if it's related to the lupus?

Thanks for the links, Shelia, I'll read up on it. I read an article in a magazine about it once but that was about people born that way. This is something relatively new for me and it will be interesting to learn how many others have the same problem.
 

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I definitely have face recognition problems but I have had the problem since birth. I never know it's happening until after the fact, when someone I am looking at starts acting weird and/or offended. Then it registers with me that something is amiss, and, after thinking long and hard about it for hours or days, I am sometimes able to figure out who the person was or may have been. This problem has damaged or terminated more relationships than I will ever know. I even have trouble recognizing my own family members when I run into them unexpectedly, in out-of-context places or situations! But, as stated previously, I have had this problem since birth so it wouldn't be due to lupus unless I had lupus in the womb and it wasn't diagnosed for 54 years!

Barb
 

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Just my opinion but I'd say it's more related to lupus brain fog than specifically lupus itself. Thankfully most people don't notice and we get good at hiding it :)
 

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I'm new to the forum, posting mainly about my older son, but I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone might have on prosopagnosia (faceblindness).

I know quite a bit about it, and would even be able to put you in touch with a researcher who would be intererested in your theory of a connection between lupus and PA.

PA is very common in people with inherent brain differences, but it can also occur after brain injury, or brain surgery. PA has nothing to do with remembering names, it's all about remembering faces, and being able to retrieve the information when needed. Most people with PA can learn to remember people who have distinguishing features, or people they see frequently, although they might have difficulty recognizing them out of context. Those with PA from brain injury tend to not be able to learn faces, even after repeat occasions.

About 1/3 of people with autism are faceblind, and it's also common in those with ADHD, Nonverbal Learning Disability, dyslexia, and other learning differences. My husband has PA, and he also has ADHD and dyslexia. My sister has PA, and she probably has mild ADHD as well. My youngest child has PA, and he has Asperger's, a form of autism. If my husband or I show up at school unexpectedly, Joe does not recognize us. But if he expects to see us, he does.

I'm the polar opposite-- I remember every face I see.

The people who seem to have the most trouble are those who can't visualize faces once the person is gone. People who have NLD and dyslexia seem to be affected more than the other groups in this regard.
 

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Wow Zusia, thanks for all that info :) True face blindness does indeed seem very specific. I suppose a lot if us have odd moments of it or a few seconds where we can't place that face without it being true prosopagnosia.

Katharine
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you zusia, that is excellent information. It will be interesting to learn as time goes on just how common face recognition problems become after a dx of lupus. I'm still trying to figure out if there's a connection or if it's just coincidence. Since lupus can cause brain fog, it doesn't seem like such a leap to assume that new brain-related problems like face recognition could be linked to lupus as well. I guess time will tell.
 

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My guess is that you may have stumbled upon the possibility of lupus-induced prosopagnosia. Since PA can result from certain degenerative diseases, I agree that it's not a far leap at all. I'll write to the researcher who tested my son and ask.
 

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Must clarify: I'll contact the researcher who treated my younger son, who does not have lupus.

I'm interested in this because my older son, age 15, who has all the signs of lupus and more, has developed mild facial recognition problems in the past year or two. All his years he never had trouble with face recognition, but being aware of PA, he recently started to suspect it in himself and so mentioned it to me.

I brushed it off to his ADHD. People with ADHD often have impaired ablity to focus on faces when they're concentrating on conversation or other things going on around them. But I have to admit that I've wondered if he could be developing it.

Once I get to 15 posts I can give you a link to the research website. They are trying to develop tests for prosopagnosia, although they're still tweaking them.
 

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Zusia,

Thank you so much for the info regarding PA; it explains a lot --- dyslexia runs in the family --- I and all three of my children have dyslexia.

Barb
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks! I'd be very interested in learning what your expert has to say on the subject.
 

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Barb G;545690 said:
Zusia,

Thank you so much for the info regarding PA; it explains a lot --- dyslexia runs in the family --- I and all three of my children have dyslexia.

Barb

I'd say it's more likely that you have developmental prosopagnosia (as opposed to acquired prosopagnosia) since you've had it from birth. An excellent website for people with PA is findaface.org. It was started by a woman, Anne, on a listserv I belong to.

Are any of your children faceblind?
 

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zusia;545708 said:
Are any of your children faceblind?
Not that I know of but they may not realize that's what's going on.

I didn't realize what was going on until in my 30s when I started a new job, ran into a colleague I worked with every day in the grocery store, standing one or two feet from her, looking directly at her, and I failed to recognize her at all. She kept looking at me really strangely, very perplexed and hurt like. It registered with me that something wasn't right. After I got home, I realized that given her expression, maybe I should know who she is. I remembered what the woman in the store looked like and over the course of many days tried to match up that mental image with others I had and with the people around me. Eventually I realized who I had blown off in the grocery store by first the angry behavior of a professional woman I worked with and then with her face. It blew me away. Then it happened with some other very important people. Then I remembered a time in my early 20s when I didn't recognize some extended family members walking by me on a sidewalk. It was at this point I realized I had a problem of some kind but I didn't know what. I learned of prosopagnosia only recently, by accident, while surfing the internet. I don't really know if I have had it since birth but because I remember incidents from my early 20's, I assume I have had it since birth but there were many things that occurred between birth and age 20 that could have contributed to its development so who knows.

If my kids are affected by it, I don't think they would admit to having it at this time. They are in denial about everything and don't want to talk about anything right now.

Barb
 

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Zusia,

Thanks for the info about findaface.org.
 

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It's pretty easy to spot kids who are faceblind. They tend to chose kids with distinguishable features as friends. My son would chose the Chinese girl, the shortest boy in the class, or the one with red hair.

Children with PA tend to have a difficult time telling stories of what happened to who at school. They also may not know who they sat with at lunch, or who the teacher was they met at the grocery store. They can mix up family members quite easily. My older son has dark red hair, as does one of his classmates who looks completely different. My younger son with PA mixes them up when trying to spot his brother in a crowd.

Usually kids with PA learn how to compensate all on their own, but many have fearful childhoods. Since learning differences seem to go hand in hand with PA, many children become isolated. My son has been lucky because we identified it in him fairly early-- age 5-- and he's been able to maintain the same group of friends for several years.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks zusia! I just took the test and got 82% which is pretty good. It makes me wonder if I just need to focus more in my everyday life and fight through the brain fog. During the test I really paid attention, something I may not do well in everyday life when I'm feeling foggy. This was a very enlightening test. Thanks again.
 

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Thanks Zusia, that info is very helpful as well.

I don't think I have had the severity of problem your son has and I know my children haven't. Perhaps my problem was acquired sometime between birth and 20 yrs of age. I did have a very fearful and isolated childhood though so if I had it as a child, it could have contributed to my fear and isolation. Impossible to know at this point. Thanks again for sharing your wealth of information on this topic!

Barb
 
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