Alexithymia in multiple sclerosis

N.G. Starynets, G.A. Starynets


Background. An independent psychological construct such as alexithymia is the least studied in multiple sclerosis (MS). The objective of this study was to determine the level of alexithymia in patients with MS and the degree of influence on it of different social and demographic characteristics of patients, including gender, age, place of residence, marital status, level of education, clinical parameters of the disease, depression and anxiety. Materials and methods. Eighty-eight in-patients with varying degrees of severity and type of MS were examined according to 2010 McDonald criteria. The following scales were used to assess the signs of depression, anxiety and alexithymia: the Beck Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Results. The prevalence of alexithymia in patients with MS was 36.36 %, while 34.09 % represented the marginal group. A statistically significant positive correlation was established between alexithymia and depression and anxiety in patients with MS. High levels of alexithymia were detected with a high degree of depression on the Beck Depression Inventory. Patients with a higher severity on the Kurtzke disability scale were found to be alexithymic. None of the above socio-demographic and clinical variables influenced statistically significantly the presence of alexithymia. Conclusions. Alexithymia can be a key psychological factor that impedes the true emotional integration of disease-related changes.


multiple sclerosis; alexithymia; depression; anxiety


Шмидт Т.Е., Яхно Н.Н. Рассеянный склероз: руководство для врачей. М.: МЕДпресс-информ, 2010. 272 с.

Feinstein A. The clinical neuropsychiatry of multiple sclerosis. Cambridge University Press, 2007. 265 p.

Arnett P.A. Neuropsychological presentation and treatment of demyelinating disorders. Handbook of clinical neuropsychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. P. 528-543.

Minden S.L., Feinstein A., Kalb R.C., Miller D., Mohr D.C., Patten S.B. et al. Evidence-based guideline: assessment and management of psychi-atric disorders in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Report of the guideline development subcommittee of the american academy of neurology. Neurol-ogy. 2014. Vol. 82. P. 174-181.

Simmons R.D. Life issues in multiple sclerosis. Nat. Rev. Neurol. 2010. Vol. 6. P. 603-610.

Asghar A.A., Taber K.H., Hurley R.A. et al. Pure neuropsychiatric presentation of multiple sclerosis. Am. J. Psychiatry. 2004. Vol. 161. P. 226-231.

Dahl O.P., Stordal E., Lydersen S. et al. Anxiety and depression in multiple sclerosis. A comparative population-based study in Nord-Trondelag Country, Norway. Multiple Sclerosis. 2009. Vol. 15(12). P. 1495-1501.

Marrie R.A., Horwitz R., Cutter G. еt al. The burden of mental comorbidity in multiple sclerosis: frequent, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. Multiple Sclerosis. 2009. Vol. 15. P. 385-392.

Johansson S., Gottberg K., Kierkegaard M., Ytterberg C. Variation in and predictors of the occurrence of depressive symptoms and mood symp-toms in multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal two-year study. Art. BMC Neurol. 2016. Vol. 16(32).

Murphy R., O’Donoghue S., Counihan Т. et al. Neuropsychiatric syndromes of multiple sclerosis. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry. 2017. Vol. 88. P. 697-708.

Almeida O.P., Draper B., Pirkis J., Snowdon J., Lautenschlager N.T. et al. Anxiety, depression, and comorbid anxiety and depression: risk fac-tors and outcome over two years. Int. Psychogeriatr. 2012. Vol. 24(10). P. 1622-1632.

Старинець Н.Г. Депресивні розлади у хворих на множинний склероз. Вісник морфології Вінницького національного медичного універси-тету ім. М.І. Пирогова. 2010. Т. 16, № 3. С. 657-661.

Beal C.C., Stuifbergen A.K., Brown A. Depression in multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal analysis. Arch. Psychiatr. Nurs. 2007. Vol. 21. P. 181-191.

Viner R., Fiest K.M., Bulloch A.G., Williams J.V., Lavorato D.H., Berzins S. et al. Point prevalence and correlates of depression in a national community sample with multiple sclerosis. Gen. Hosp. Psychiat. 2014. Vol. 36. P. 352-354.

Koch M., Patten S., Berzins S., Zhornitsky S., Greenfield J. et al. Depression in multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal study. Multiple Sclerosis. 2015. Vol. 21(1). P. 76-82.

Jefferies K. The neuropsychiatry of multiple sclerosis. Adv. Psychiatr. Treat. 2006. Vol. 12. P. 214-220.

Korostil M., Feistein А. Anxiety disorders and their clinical corrаlates in multiple sclerosis patients. Multiple Sclerosis. 2007. № 17. P. 67-72.

Garfield A.C., Lincoln N.B. Factors affecting anxiety in multiple sclerosis. Disabil. Rehabil. 2012. Vol. 34(24). P. 2047-2052.

Hartoonian N., Terrill A.L., Beier M.L., Turner A.P., Day M.A., Alschuer K.N. Predictors of anxiety in multiple sclerosis. Rehabil. Psychol. 2015. Vol. 60(1). P. 91-98.

Wood B., van der Mei I.A., Ponsonby A.L., Pittas F., Quinn S., Dwyer T. et al. Prevalence and concurrence of anxiety, depression and fatigue over time in multiple sclerosis. Mult. Scler. J. 2012. Vol. 19. P. 217-224.

Gay M.C., Vrignaud Р., Garitte С., Meunier С. Predictors of depression in multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol. Scand. 2010. Vol. 121. P. 161-170.

Nemian J.C., Sifnoes P.E. Psychosomatic illness and problem of communication. Psychother Psychosom. 1970. Vol. 18. P. 154-160.

Taylor G.J., Ryan D., Bagby R.M. Toward the development of a new self-report alexithymia scale. Psychother. Psychosom. 1985. Vol. 44(4). P. 191-199.

Chalah M.A., Ayache S.S. Alexithymia in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review of literature. Neuropsychologia. 2017. Vol. 104. P. 31-47.

Eboni J. ACB, Cardoso M., Dias F.M., Gama P.D., Gomes S. et al. High levels of alexithymia in patients with multiple sclerosis. Dementia neu-ropsychologia. 2018. Vol. 12. P. 212-215.

Kurtzke J.F. Rating neurologic impairment in multiple sclerosis: an expanded disability status scale (EDSS). Neurol. 1983. Vol. 33. P. 1444-1452.

Grynberg D., Luminet О., Corneille О., Grezes J., Berthoz S. Alexithymia in the interpersonal domain: a general deficit of empathy? Personality Individ. Differ. 2010. Vol. 49. P. 845-850.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


© Publishing House Zaslavsky, 1997-2020


   Seo анализ сайта