On the front of its Personal Journal section, the Wall Street Journal (5/21, D1, Wang, Subscription Publication) reports that social behavior changes or deterioration in social or emotional functioning may be the first clues of a mental-health or neurological disorder. For example, inappropriate behavior may portend frontotemporal dementia or Alzheimer’s, while a lack of empathy can be seen in people with schizophrenia or autism. According to the article, family members are more likely than patients themselves to observe social changes. Neurology professor Katherine Rankin, of the University of California-San Francisco, suggested that middle-aged adults who notice such changes are advised to see a neurologist.
— “When Social Skills Are a Warning, “Shirley S. Wang, The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2013.