Masked face recognition in patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

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Kumcu M., Aydemir S. T., Olmez B., Celik N. D., YÜCESAN C.

Neurological Sciences, vol.43, no.3, pp.1549-1556, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10072-021-05797-9
  • Journal Name: Neurological Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1549-1556
  • Keywords: Masked face recognition, Multiple sclerosis, COVID-19 pandemic, Face mask, Social cognition, SOCIAL COGNITION, PARKINSONS-DISEASE, IMPAIRMENT, INDIVIDUALS, MOCA
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021, Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia.Background: Face and facial expression recognition abilities have been frequently evaluated in the assessment of social cognition disorders in patients with MS. Investigation of the effect of new difficulties emerging in the field of face recognition with the widespread use of masks during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on patients with MS may make new contributions to the literature. Material and methods: The study included 44 patients with relapsing–remitting MS (RRMSp) and 51 controls who were matched to the case group in terms of age and education level. The Benton face recognition test-short form (BFRT-sf), Beck Depression Inventory, a close-ended 13-item survey on face recognition difficulties due to mask use during the pandemic was administered to all groups. Results: In the RRMSp, the mean disease duration was 8.2 ± 5.6, the mean EDSS score was 1.2 ± 1.0, and the mean MOCA test score was 27.23 ± 2.08. The mean BFRTsf was 19.9 ± 2.4 in the RRMSp and 21.6 ± 1.8 in the healthy controls.Twenty-five percent of RRMSp and 4% of the healthy controls required people to remove their masks to be able to recognize their faces. Improvement in face recognition difficulty over time was reported as 80% in the healthy controls and 34% in the RRMSp. Conclusion: RRMSp had worse performance in masked face recognition and required removal of the facial masks more often than healthy controls to recognize the faces. RRMS patients did not show as much improvement in recognizing masked faces over time according to the onset of the pandemic as healthy controls.