Neurobiological, Neuropsychological,Linguistic and Gestural Processes and Phenomena in Individuals With Alexithymia (ALEX)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00830752
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified January 2009 by Charite University, Berlin, Germany.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
First Posted : January 28, 2009
Last Update Posted : January 28, 2009
Information provided by:
Charite University, Berlin, Germany

Brief Summary:

The syndrome of extremely restricted emotional competence, alexithymia, was originally conceptualized in psychoanalytic research and is now empirically and experimentally studied in clinical psychology and psychological medicine within the context of emotion regulation using neuroscientific techniques. Alexithymia refers to an individual's inability or impaired ability to name or express feelings and to distinguish them from the physical consequences of an acute or chronic stress reaction. Modern "brain-body-interface" research suggests that alexithymia represents a complex deficiency in cognitive processing and emotional regulatory processes. The neurobiological basis is assumed to be a preconscious, automatic and involuntary information transfer to the amygdalae of acquired representations of emotional contents stored in ventromedial prefrontal cortical areas.

Alexithymia is not just "emotional coldness", i.e. a limited emotionality, but essentially the detachment of feelings from language. In alexithymia the link between affective phenomena and language, understood as media-supported sign practices, is insufficient or even absent.

The purpose of our observational study is to better understand the neurobiological and neuropsychological as well as linguistic and gestural processes and determinants of this phenomenon

Condition or disease

Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 70 participants
Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Understanding Alexithymia
Study Start Date : February 2009
Estimated Primary Completion Date : August 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2009

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
whole blood, serum

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
70 individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 years, both genders, who score high on an alexithymia questionaire (TAS-20) and who are otherwise emotionally and physically healthy. Individuals are sampled via newspaper and poster advertisements throughout the greater metropolitan area of Berlin, Germany

Inclusion Criteria:

  • scoring high on the TAS-20

Exclusion Criteria:

  • personal history of a mental disorder
  • currently mentally ill

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00830752

Charite-Dept. of Psychiatry-Campus Benjamin Franklin Not yet recruiting
Berlin, Germany, 14050
Contact: Isabella JE Heuser, MD, PhD    ++493084458701   
Contact: Claudia Crayen, MS    ++493083857839   
Sub-Investigator: Malek Bajbouj, MD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Charite University, Berlin, Germany

Responsible Party: Isabella Heuser, Charite Identifier: NCT00830752     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ALEX 2009
First Posted: January 28, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 28, 2009
Last Verified: January 2009

Keywords provided by Charite University, Berlin, Germany:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Affective Symptoms
Behavioral Symptoms