Neuropsychological study of underweight and “weight-recovered” anorexia nervosa compared with bulimia nervosa and normal controls


  • Parts of manuscript have been presented at British Association of Psychopharmacology Meeting 2003, CINP 2004, RANZCP Congress 2005, and 2nd Asian Pacific Eating Disorders Meeting 2005.



To compare executive, memory and visuospatial functioning of DSM-IV anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and normal controls (NC).


A comparison of women involving: (i) 16 AN with body mass indices (BMI) ≤ 17.5 kg/m2; (ii) 12 AN with BMI > 18.5 kg/m2 for at least 3 months; (iii) 13 BN; and (iv) 16 NC participants was performed with groups of similar age and intelligence. Groups were assessed with EDE-12, MADRS, HAMA, Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) battery, and Bechara tasks.


Significant impairments in CDR Power of Attention were present in underweight AN and BN participants. CDR Morse Tapping was significantly impaired in all clinical groups. The BN and weight-recovered AN groups were significantly impaired on CDR immediate word recall. The BN group alone was significantly impaired on CDR delayed word recall.


Attentional impairment is similar in AN and BN. Impaired motor tasks in AN persist after “weight-recovery” and are similar to impairments in BN. BN may be discriminated from AN on word recall. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007