Prevalence and characteristics of alexithymia in Parkinson's disease

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Background: Alexithymia, a reduction in the tendency to think about emotions, together with a difficulty in identifying and describing feelings, has been characterized as a personality trait, but may be secondary to other pathological conditions. Objective: The authors aimed at investigating alexithymia in Parkinson's disease (PD). Method: Seventy PD patients and 70 control subjects were administered the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Results: The authors found that 21.4% of PD patients and 10.0% of controls could be classified as alexithymic. PD patients and controls significantly differed on global levels of alexithymia. However, univariate analyses showed that PD patients differed significantly only on the subscale investigating difficulty describing and communicating feelings. Conclusion: These results indicate that some facets of alexithymia are a relevant feature of PD, possibly in relation to the neuropathological changes that characterize the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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