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Fiona C. Glen, David P. Crabb, Nicholas D. Smith, Robyn Burton, David F. Garway-Heath; Do Patients With Glaucoma Have Difficulty Recognising Faces?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5492.
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Face recognition is an important visual task which plays an integral role in daily social interactions. This study aims to compare the performance of glaucomatous patients against the performance of visually healthy control subjects in a face recognition task.
Thirty-one glaucomatous patients (mean age: 70 [SD:7] years) with a range of visual field (VF) defects and 35 visually healthy control subjects (mean age: 68 [SD:8] years) from a recruitment target of 60 in both groups completed the Cambridge Face Memory Test [CFMT; Duchaine et al, 2005] on a computer set-up that incorporated an eye tracking device. All participants had visual acuity better than 6/9 and underwent standard tests of visual function including Humphrey 24-2 and 10-2 VFs along with a test for cognitive ability (Middlesex Elderly Assessment of Mental Status Test [MEAMS]). For this interim analysis, the patient group was stratified into those having or not having significant central 10° VF defects (as defined by HFA 10-2 MD worse than the 1% normative value) in their better eye.
The mean percentage of correctly identified faces in the controls (n=35) and the patients without significant central VF defects in the best eye (n=18) was 75 (SD: 11) and 77(SD: 12) respectively. The mean percentage CFMT score in the patients with significant central 10° VF defects (n=13) in the best eye was worse than the other two groups (66 [SD:14];One-way ANOVA; p=0.058). The groups had similar average age (p=0.18) and similar average cognitive ability (p=0.95) as estimated by MEAMS.
Interim results suggest that glaucomatous patients with significant central 10° VF loss have face recognition deficits when compared to visually healthy people of the same age. These findings should add to a wider understanding as to the types of VF defect that cause visual disability in individuals with glaucoma, which could aid future management strategies.
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