An Initial Study of Alexithymia and Its Relationship With Cognitive Abilities Among Mild Cognitive Impairment, Mild Alzheimer’s Disease, and Healthy Volunteers. Smirni, D.; Beadle, J.N.; Paradiso, S. 2018

An Initial Study of Alexithymia and Its Relationship With Cognitive Abilities Among Mild Cognitive Impairment, Mild Alzheimer’s Disease, and Healthy Volunteers. Smirni, D.; Beadle, J.N.; Paradiso, S. 2018

AUTORESSmirni, D.; Beadle, J.N.; Paradiso, S.
AÑO2018
JOURNALThe Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
VOLUMENAugust, 2018
ABSTRACTThe present study examined the degree to which alexithymia is greater in mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) relative to healthy volunteers (healthy comparison [HC]), and investigated relationships between alexithymia and cognition. Eighty-five participants (MCI = 30, AD = 21, HC = 34) underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological examination and completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Relative to HC, MCI and AD reported greater alexithymia total scores and higher scores on the TAS factor difficulty in identifying feelings (DIF). The remaining two factors, difficulty in describing feelings (DDF) and externally oriented thinking showed no significant group differences. In MCI, TAS-20 and DIF were negatively correlated with working and long-term verbal memory. In AD, TAS-20 was negatively correlated with general cognition, attention, memory, and visual spatial constructive and executive abilities. Also in AD, DIF was negatively correlated with general cognition, memory, and executive abilities. The correlation between DIF and long-term verbal memory in both MCI and AD suggests a potential common mechanism for alexithymia in these neurocognitive disorders. Declines in verbal memory may hinder a patient’s ability to recall an association between a given sensation and the episodic experience of that sensation, thus leading to difficulty identifying feelings, as measured by the DIF factor of the TAS-20.
RESUMENEl presente estudio examinó el grado en que la alexitimia es mayor en la enfermedad de Alzheimer leve (AD) y el deterioro cognitivo leve (MCI) versus sujetos control sanos. A su vez se analizó la relación entre la alexitimia y funciones cognitivas. Para ello, ochenta y cinco participantes se sometieron a un examen neuropsicológico y completaron la Escala de alexitimia de Toronto (TAS-20). En relación con sujetos sanos, MCI y AD informaron mayores puntuaciones totales de alexitimia y puntuaciones más altas en la dificultad para identificar sentimientos. La correlación entre la a dificultad para identificar sentimientos y la memoria verbal a largo plazo tanto en MCI como en AD sugiere un posible mecanismo común para la alexitimia en estos trastornos neurocognitivos. La disminución en la memoria verbal puede dificultar la capacidad del paciente para recordar una asociación entre una sensación determinada y la experiencia episódica de dicha sensación, lo que lleva a una dificultad para identificar los sentimientos.
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