Neuropsychological functioning pretreatment and posttreatment in an inpatient eating disorders program




This study was conducted to determine whether neuropsychological dysfunction associated with anorexia nervosa resolves with inpatient treatment.


Subjects were 28 women being treated for anorexia nervosa. Main study variables included body mass index (BMI), Beck Depression Inventory-II, and neuropsychological test scores. Subjects were tested at admission and discharge.


Neuropsychological functioning improved across the course of treatment, with significant changes on tests of memory and psychomotor speed. This improvement was not significantly associated with change in BMI or with the other variables that were studied.


Patients with anorexia nervosa exhibit subtle neuropsychological dysfunction, which resolves at least partially during treatment. This improvement does not appear to be associated with an increase in BMI. However, it is possible that BMI is not a sufficiently sensitive indicator of nutritional status or that longer-term follow-up is necessary to reveal the nutrition-cognition relationship that we were seeking. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 64–70, 2003.