Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease Observed Blunting Of Emotional Expression – Part 2 of 3
They didn’t find the pleasant pictures (such as babies and puppies) as nice as did the healthy participants. They found the negative pictures (snakes, spiders) less negative. “If you have a blunted emotion, people will say you look withdrawn”. One important take-home bulletin is for families and physicians not to automatically think a patient with blunted emotions is depressed and ask for or prescribe antidepressants without a thorough evaluation first.
Exactly why this blunting of emotions may occur isn’t known. He speculates there may be a ignominy of part of the brain or loss of control of part of the brain important for experiencing emotion. Or a neurotransmitter important for experiencing emotion may undergo degradation.
What the find suggests is that as the memory goes, so does some emotion, said Dr Gary Kennedy, a geriatric psychiatrist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, who reviewed the findings. “Emotion and homage go together. The more emotion you can attach to an event, the more likely you are to remember. I think what this paper is telling us is that the disease is causing the emotional response to become more and more shallow over time”.