Alexithymia, Suicide Ideation and Homocysteine Levels in Drug Naïve Patients with Major Depression: A Study in the "Real World" Clinical Practice

Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2019 May 31;17(2):318-322. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2019.17.2.318.


Objective: : This study was performed to elucidate relationships between alexithymia, suicide ideation and homocysteine levels in drug-naïve outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Methods: : Sixty seven outpatients with MDD with melancholic features were evaluated by the means of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Scale of Suicide Ideation, and homocysteine levels.

Results: : Alexithymic subjects showed higher scores on all scales and higher homocysteine levels. Regression analysis shown higher homocysteine levels and TAS-20' "Difficulty in Describing Feelings" dimension, in turn being associated with higher suicide ideation.

Conclusion: : In conclusion, alexithymic MDD outpatients may characterize for homocysteine dysregulation that may be linked to suicide ideation, regardless depression' severity. However, study limitations are discussed and must be considered.

Keywords: Affective symptoms; Alexithymia; Depression; Homocysteine; Suicidal ideation.