Alexithymia and Aging

MariaLuisa Onor, Marianna Trevisiol, Mariangela Spano, Eugenio Aguglia, Sergio Paradiso
2010 Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease  
Consistent with the emotional changes associated with later life, higher alexithymia scores are widely reported in older adults, but their significance has not been fully examined. We posited that association between alexithymia and poorer neurocognition would support the deficit nature of alexithymia in later life. Widely used neurocognitive tests assessing the relative integrity of the left and right hemisphere functions were used to examine the extent to which alexithymia of older age is
more » ... ciated with poor left or right hemisphere functioning. Healthy community-dwelling volunteers (20 young and 20 elderly subjects) were studied with the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Neurocognitive competence was assessed using a neuropsychological battery measuring attention, language, memory, visuospatial abilities, and executive functions. Neurocognitive abilities were strongly age-related and indirectly correlated with alexithymia. Alexithymia total score appeared to be uniquely predicted by Raven Matrices and Rey's Figure Recall . These results support the deficit hypothesis alexithymia of older age.
doi:10.1097/nmd.0b013e3181fe743e pmid:21135641 pmcid:PMC3789519 fatcat:jyiqulgdcra7zn5evm3u7ssxze