First ever treatment for face-blindness discovered

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An optician has come up with a pioneering new treatment to cure people of the face-blindness condition. Relating to the inability to recognisefacial ex...

An optician has come up with a pioneering new treatment to cure people of the face-blindness condition.

Relating to the inability to recognisefacial expressions, face-blindness is otherwise known by its technical term, prosopagnosiaand affects one in 40 people.

The new treatment for face-blindness involves altering the visual perception pathways by using coloursto enhance the subject being looked at; faces in this case.

Once the most effective colourhas been identified, patients are prescribed tailor made glasses with lenses in that shade.

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Face-blindness is often a result of a brain trauma and is particularly common in those who are on the autistic spectrum.

Ian Jordan, an optometrist from Scotland, discovered the treatment by accident while treating a patient for a different sensory condition.

Speaking about the treatment in an interview he said: “This is a real breakthrough and will be life-changing for those with prosopagnosia.”

“Until now, there hasn't been any way to treat it - just techniques and strategies to deal with the consequences.”

He added: “Some people are able to piece together a person's identity by recognisingthe way they walk or the sound of their voice, but the prospect of meeting and having to identify new people, either socially, at work or at school, can be very distressing.”

Patients who have received the treatment cannot speak highly enough of it. Isabelle Thoraldsaid: “When I put the glasses on, everything looks a hundred times better. I can see a whole face at once.”

Meanwhile, Alan Mandelsonsaid: “It gave me more confidence to go out and actually try to socialise.”

Ian Jordan will now be presenting his findings in London at the Treating Autism 7th Biomedical Conference and Exhibition.

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