Kessler Foundation researchers are developing behaviors

image: Dr. Genova is Associate Director of the Autism Research Center and an expert in the study of social cognition.
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Credit: Kessler Foundation

Eastern Hanover, NJ. April 12, 2011. A recent study by researchers at the Kessler Foundation demonstrated the effectiveness of the behavioral intervention, EMOPRINT, in treating facial recognition deficits in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The article, “Emotional processing intervention (EMOPRINT): A blinded randomized control trial to treat facial affect recognition deficits in multiple sclerosis”, was published online on January 19, 2022 by Multiple sclerosis and related disorders. The study is the first to provide class I evidence supporting the effectiveness of an intervention to treat these deficits in MS.

The authors are Helen M. Genova, PhD, Katie Lancaster, PhD, Zuzanna Myszko, Jimmy Morecraft, Jacqueline Leddy, Angela Smith, MA, Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, and Jean Lengenfelder, PhD, of the Kessler Foundation. Link to the summary: https://tinyurl.com/mfvw693f

Researchers compared 21 people with MS with 15 placebo controls in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of EMOPRINT, a five-week, 12-session behavioral intervention to teach facial recognition of the six universal emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, anger and disgust. Participants underwent baseline and follow-up neuropsychological assessments of facial affect recognition, as well as assessments of quality of life and emotional functioning. At follow-up, facial affect recognition abilities improved significantly in the MS group compared to the placebo group.

The effectiveness of EMOPRINT has important implications for people with MS, as well as other populations that suffer from facial recognition deficits, including autism, traumatic brain injury and schizophrenia. Facial recognition deficits, which are known to impair social functioning, are often associated with mood disorders and reduced quality of life, according to lead author Dr Genova, associate director of the Center Foundation. autism researcher and expert in the study of social cognition.

“Improved facial recognition can improve interpersonal relationships and lead to better outcomes at home and at work,” she added. “EMOPRINT’s success in this MS study is an important first step toward the larger, longer-term studies of social cognition that we need to investigate these potential effects.”

Funding: National Multiple Sclerosis Society (RG-1507-05353)

To learn more about ongoing studies in MS and other conditions, see Join Our Research Studies | Kesler Foundation. Send inquiries about research participation to ResearchStudies@kesslerfoundation.org

About the Kessler Foundation

The Kessler Foundation, a leading disability non-profit organization, is a world leader in rehabilitation research that aims to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disorders caused by diseases and brain damage. and the spinal cord. The Kessler Foundation is the national leader in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.

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