The alexithymia construct is multidimensional and comprises several features: (a) difficulty in identifying and describing feelings, (b) difficulty in distinguishing feelings from the bodily sensations, (c) diminution of fantasy, and (d) concrete and poorly introspective thinking. Altered immune responses have been seen in some psychiatric disorders and several data suggest that analogous changes could also be observable in alexithymia. Hence, the aim of this review is to investigate the relationships between alexithymia and acute phase proteins and cytokines in psychiatric, psychosomatic and medical diseases. Several studies have reported an association between alexithymia and higher circulating levels of acute phase proteins, especially C-Reactive Protein. Moreover, in alexithymic subjects the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine balance may be tuned toward a pro-inflammatory imbalance with a concomitant altered cell-mediated immunity. These findings may be consistent with the "“stress-alexithymia hypothesis"”. Therefore, the screening of alexithymic traits and the administration of appropriate psychological and psychotherapeutical interventions should be integral parts of disease management programs. Supplying such interventions will probably help with prevention of the development of the disease and/or its exacerbation by improving the quality of life of alexithymic individuals.

Alexithymia and its relationships with acute phase proteins and cytokine release: an updated review

Iasevoli, F;Fornaro, M;
2014

Abstract

The alexithymia construct is multidimensional and comprises several features: (a) difficulty in identifying and describing feelings, (b) difficulty in distinguishing feelings from the bodily sensations, (c) diminution of fantasy, and (d) concrete and poorly introspective thinking. Altered immune responses have been seen in some psychiatric disorders and several data suggest that analogous changes could also be observable in alexithymia. Hence, the aim of this review is to investigate the relationships between alexithymia and acute phase proteins and cytokines in psychiatric, psychosomatic and medical diseases. Several studies have reported an association between alexithymia and higher circulating levels of acute phase proteins, especially C-Reactive Protein. Moreover, in alexithymic subjects the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine balance may be tuned toward a pro-inflammatory imbalance with a concomitant altered cell-mediated immunity. These findings may be consistent with the "“stress-alexithymia hypothesis"”. Therefore, the screening of alexithymic traits and the administration of appropriate psychological and psychotherapeutical interventions should be integral parts of disease management programs. Supplying such interventions will probably help with prevention of the development of the disease and/or its exacerbation by improving the quality of life of alexithymic individuals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/708149
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