In first presentation adolescent anorexia nervosa, do cognitive markers of underweight status change with weight gain following a refeeding intervention?

Authors

  • Ainslie Hatch BA,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    • The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales 2145, Australia
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  • Sloane Madden MBBS, FRANZCP,

    1. Psychological Medicine, Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Michael R. Kohn MBBS, FRACP,

    1. The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Centre for Research into AdolescentS' Health (CRASH), Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Simon Clarke MBBS, FRACP,

    1. The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Centre for Research into AdolescentS' Health (CRASH), Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Stephen Touyz PhD,

    1. School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Evian Gordon PhD,

    1. The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Psychological Medicine, Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    3. Brain Resource International Database, Brain Resource Company, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Leanne M. Williams PhD

    1. The Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Abstract

Objective:

To determine the nature and severity of cognitive functioning impairment in adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) when underweight and following weight gain.

Method:

In 37 first admission adolescent (12–18 years) AN patients and 45 matched controls, general cognitive functions were assessed at baseline and follow-up using the IntegNeuro-computerized battery. AN participants were tested between days 3 and 10 of their admission when underweight, with retesting conducted after weight restoration.

Results:

When underweight, AN participants performed more poorly than controls on sensori-motor speed tasks and exhibited a susceptibility to interference, but had superior working memory. Once the weight is restored, individuals significantly improved relative to their own performance. Relative to controls, they were significantly faster on attention and executive function tasks, exhibited superior verbal fluency, working memory, and a significantly superior ability to inhibit well-learnt responses.

Discussion:

Cognitive impairments in adolescent AN appear to normalize with refeeding and weight gain. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010

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