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Neurocase. 2011 Jun;17(3):242-50. doi: 10.1080/13554794.2010.532503.

Alexithymia in neurodegenerative disease.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

We investigated alexithymia, a deficit in the ability to identify and describe one's emotions, in a sample that included patients with neurodegenerative disease and healthy controls. In addition, we investigated the relationship that alexithymia has with behavioral disturbance and with regional gray matter volumes. Alexithymia was examined with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, behavioral disturbance was assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and regional gray matter volumes were obtained from structural magnetic resonance images. Group analyses revealed higher levels of alexithymia in patients than controls. Alexithymia scores were positively correlated with behavioral disturbance (apathy and informant distress, in particular) and negatively correlated with the gray matter volume of the right pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain that is thought to play an important role in self and emotion processing.

PMID:
21432723
PMCID:
PMC3278303
DOI:
10.1080/13554794.2010.532503
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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