Social cognition in myotonic dystrophy type 1: Specific or secondary impairment?
Aliri Lazcano, Jone
López de Munain Arregui, Adolfo José
Sistiaga Berrondo, Andone
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PLOS ONE 13(9) : (2018) // Article ID e0204227
Aims The cognitive profile of Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 (DM1) has been described in recent decades. Moreover, DM1 patients show lowered social engagement and difficulties in social-cognitive functions. The aim of the present study is to explore whether social cognition impairment is present in DM1 taking into account the overall cognitive condition. Method 38 patients and a control group paired in age and gender participated in the study. All the participants had an IQ within the normal range. Subjects were administered an abbreviated neuropsychological battery which comprised a facial emotion recognition test (POFA) and Faux Pas Test, as well as a self-report questionnaire on cognitive and affective empathy (TECA). Results Statistically significant differences were found only for facial emotion recognition (U = 464.0, p = .006) with a moderate effect size (.31), with the controls obtaining a higher score than the patients. Analyzing each emotion separately, DM1 patients scored significantly lower than controls on the recognition of anger and disgust items. Emotion recognition did not correlate with genetic load, but did correlate negatively with age. No differences were found between patients and controls in any of the other variables related to Theory of Mind (ToM) and empathy. Conclusion DM1 does not manifest specific impairments in ToM since difficulties in this area predominantly rely on the cognitive demand of the tasks employed. However, a more basic process such as emotion recognition appears as a core deficit. The role of this deficit as a marker of aging related decline is discussed.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as 2018 Labayru et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.