Brain tissue volume changes following weight gain in adults with anorexia nervosa

Authors

  • Christina A. Roberto MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
    2. Eating Disorders Research Unit, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
    • Department of Psychology, Yale University, Box 208205, New Haven, Connecticut 06520
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  • Laurel E. S. Mayer MD,

    1. Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York
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  • Adam M. Brickman PhD,

    1. Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Anna Barnes PhD,

    1. Department of Radiology, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University Medical Center, Neurological Institute, New York, New York
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  • Jordan Muraskin BA,

    1. Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Lok-Kin Yeung BA,

    1. Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Jason Steffener PhD,

    1. Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Melissa Sy BA,

  • Joy Hirsch PhD,

  • Yaakov Stern PhD,

    1. Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • B. Timothy Walsh MD

    1. Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York
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Abstract

Objective:

To measure brain volume deficits among underweight patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) compared to control participants and evaluate the reversibility of these deficits with short-term weight restoration.

Method:

Brain volume changes in gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were examined in 32 adult women with AN and compared to 21, age and body mass index-range matched control women.

Results:

Patients with AN had a significant increase in GM (p = .006, η2 = 0.14) and WM volume (p = .001, η2 = 0.19) following weight restoration. Patients on average had lower levels of GM at low weight (647.63 ± 62.07 ml) compared to controls (679.93 ± 53.31 ml), which increased with weight restoration (662.64 ± 69.71 ml), but did not fully normalize.

Discussion:

This study suggests that underweight adult patients with AN have reduced GM and WM volumes that increase with short-term weight restoration. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011; 44:406–411)

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