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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • cerebellum;
  • atrophy;
  • undernutrition

Abstract

Reversible cerebral atrophy (pseudoatrophy) is observable in patients with anorexia nervosa. However, it is extremely rare to see marked cerebellar atrophy.

Objectives

We report on a patient who developed cerebellar atrophy after the severe deterioration of cardiac and respiratory functions resulting from undernutririon.

Results

A 30-year-old Japanese woman was admitted to the Wakayama Medical University Hospital (Wakayama, Japan) because of unsteadiness of gait. She had a 7-year history of anorexia nervosa and had been admitted to an emergency hospital because of asthenic shock resulting from severe undernutrition at the age of 28. On admission to our hospital, neurologic examination revealed dysarthria and cerebellar ataxia of the trunk and lower extremities without nystagmus. A brain magnetic resonance imaging scan demonstrated marked atrophy of the cerebellum.

Discussion

Because her cerebellar ataxia appeared during severe deterioration of her general condition, and there has been no subsequent progression, it is possible that her cerebellar atrophy was induced by undernutrition. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 238–241, 2004.