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

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified January 2009 by Charite University, Berlin, Germany.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
Information provided by:
Charite University, Berlin, Germany Identifier:
First received: January 27, 2009
Last updated: NA
Last verified: January 2009
History: No changes posted

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


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Understanding Alexithymia

Further study details as provided by Charite University, Berlin, Germany:

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
whole blood, serum

Estimated Enrollment: 70
Study Start Date: February 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2009
Estimated Primary Completion Date: August 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

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
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: 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
  More Information

Responsible Party: Isabella Heuser, Charite Identifier: NCT00830752     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ALEX 2009
Study First Received: January 27, 2009
Last Updated: January 27, 2009

Keywords provided by Charite University, Berlin, Germany:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Affective Symptoms
Behavioral Symptoms processed this record on September 19, 2017