Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, is a disorder characterized by the brain’s inability to perceive and remember faces. Your nephew, and others with the condition, typically cannot recognize faces, often including familiar ones such as close friends and family members—and in extreme cases one’s own face in the mirror.
Face blindness is often an inherited condition but can also result from a stroke or traumatic brain injury. It is not caused by learning disabilities, vision problems or memory loss. Once thought to be rare, face blindness is estimated to occur to some degree in one out of 50 people in the US.
There’s currently no cure for the disorder, but people with this condition often learn to compensate by using other cues to recognize people, such as voice, body shape or other characteristics. For an online face blindness self-test, go to the site FaceBlind.org/facetests .