ABSTRACT: To elucidate the relationships between alexithymia, suicide ideation and serum lipid levels in drug-naïve adult outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of Panic Disorder (PD), 72 patients were evaluated. Measures were the Panic Attack and Anticipatory Anxiety Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI) and the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Alexithymic patients showed higher scores on all rating scales and altered serum lipid levels than non-alexithymics. In the hierarchical regression model, the presence of lower HDL-C and higher VLDL-C levels and Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 were associated with higher suicide ideation. In conclusion, alexithymic individuals with PD may show a cholesterol dysregulation that may be linked to suicide ideation. The authors discuss study limitations and future research needs.
Comprehensive psychiatry 01/2013; · 2.08 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to investigate, in a non-clinical sample of undergraduate women, the relationships between
alexithymia, dissociative experiences and body dissatisfaction, while identifying the predictive factors associated with a
potential risk of developing eating disorders (EDs). The Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS-20), dissociative experiences scale
(DES), eating disorder inventory-2 (EDI-2), body shape questionnaire (BSQ), symptom checklist revised (SCL-90-R) and rosenberg
self-esteem scale (RSES) were completed by 546 undergraduate females. We found that alexithymics had higher dissociative experiences
and body dissatisfaction than did the nonalexithymics. In addition, alexithymics also reported a higher potential risk for
ED (higher scores on EDI-2) and lower self-esteem as compared to nonalexithymics. Difficulty in the identifying and describing
feelings subscales of the TAS-20, dissociative experiences as well as lower self-esteem were associated with higher risk of
EDs in a linear regression analysis. Our findings suggest that a combination of alexithymia, dissociative experiences and
low self-esteem may constitute a risk-factor for symptoms of EDs, in a non-clinical sample of university women. We discuss
limitations of the present study and suggest opportunities for future research.
Cognitive Therapy and Research 04/2012; 33(5):471-479. · 1.33 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is an extremely disabling, chronic and recurrent disease. Moreover, subthreshold depressive symptoms often persist during periods of apparent remission. Such symptoms include sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, disinterest, anxiety, and/or emotional blunting, which do not often respond to available antidepressant treatments. Agomelatine is a melatonergic agonist (at both MT1 and MT2 receptors) and serotonin 2C (5-HT2C) receptor antagonist. Agomelatine should be particularly useful in the treatment of MDD because of its unique pharmacological profile, accounting for its effective antidepressant action with a relative lack of serious adverse effects. Several clinical trials confirmed the antidepressant efficacy of agomelatine in patients with MDD, with significant efficacy even in severe manifestations of disease and on residual subtreshold symptoms. This compound showed a relative early onset of action as well as an excellent safety and tolerability profile linked to a low discontinuation rate in MDD patients. Moreover, some data suggest that agomelatine has not only antidepressant effects but also anxiolytic effects, with a potential benefit both on anxiety symptoms associated with MDD and in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder. This review will summarise the role of the melatonergic system in MDD and will describe the characteristics of agomelatine, focusing on its efficacy and safety in the treatment of MDD.
CNS & neurological disorders drug targets 02/2011; 10(1):119-32. · 3.57 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Several studies have investigated the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum lipid levels in Major Depression (MD), but no study has, to date, evaluated the impact of alexithymia on these parameters. Therefore, the aim of the present cross-sectional study was to evaluate the relationship between alexithymia, suicide risk, C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum lipid levels in adult outpatients suffering from moderate to severe MD. CRP and serum lipid levels data were analyzed in 145 drug-naïve adult outpatients (69 men, 76 women) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of MD. Alexithymia was measured with the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), depression severity was evaluated with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and suicide risk was determined using the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI). Alexithymics showed altered serum lipid levels and higher CRP than non-alexithymics. In the linear regression models, lower total cholesterol levels and "Difficulty in Identifying Feelings" dimension of TAS-20 were significantly associated with depression severity, whereas lower high-density lipoprotein levels and "Difficulty in Identifying and Describing Feelings" dimensions of TAS-20 were associated with higher suicide risk. Authors discuss study limitations and future research needs.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 11/2008; 32(8):1982-6. · 3.25 Impact Factor