Psychopaths' Lack of Empathy Mimics Brain Injury:
FRIDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- People who have suffered a
frontal brain injury have been known to have difficulty showing
empathy, and new research shows that people diagnosed as
psychopathic also have the same emotional deficiency.
The finding suggests that psychopaths may benefit from therapy
similar to that used to treat frontal brain injury patients, said
the researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by extreme
anti-social behavior and intention to harm others. Empathy is the
ability to identify and understand another person's feelings and
The study included 17 people who had been diagnosed as psychotic
and did not have any brain damage, along with 25 patients with a
frontal lobe brain injury. All of the participants were tested to
determine their ability to show empathy and all of them
demonstrated a similar difficulty in this area.
"Seeing as psychopathic behavior is similar to that of a person with brain damage, it could be that it could benefit from similar forms of treatment," study author Dr. Simone Shamay-Tsoory said in a university news release.
Mental Health America looks at
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