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Brain Inj. 2002 Jul;16(7):633-45.

Organic alexithymia: a study of acquired emotional blindness.

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  • 1State Head Injury Unit, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. rodrigo.becerra@health.wa.gov.au

Abstract

The phrase 'organic alexithymia' is introduced as a clinically and theoretically useful construct for furthering understanding of alexithymia and the occurrence of alexithymic symptoms in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). The construct is illustrated by the case study of HR, a 21-year-old man seen at the State Head Injury Unit, Perth, for neuropsychological and clinical assessment 2 years following a motor vehicle accident. HR's case supports the hypotheses that a syndrome substantially similar to alexithymia can occur in patients with acquired brain injury, and that the acquired nature of the organic disorder may cause it to be systematically different from the established syndrome. The case demonstrates the clinical relevance of a construct like organic alexithymia when treating patients with ABI. It also highlights the need to develop instruments capable of identifying the condition and differentiating it from symptoms of depression.

2002 Taylor & Francis Ltd

PMID:
12119081
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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