Volumetric alterations in the nucleus accumbens and caudate nucleus in bulimia nervosa: A structural magnetic resonance imaging study
Supported by SFRH/BPD/75014/2010 from Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal (FCT), by SFRH/SINTD/60106/2009 from Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal (FCT) and by Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal (FCT/PTDC/PSI-PCL/099981/2008).
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors (such as purging, fasting, or excessive exercise) to prevent weight gain. BN has been associated with deficits in inhibitory control processes. The basal ganglia specifically, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the caudate nucleus (CN) are part of the frontostriatal circuits involved in inhibitory control. The main goal of this study was to investigate the presence of morphological alterations in the NAc and the CN in a sample of patients diagnosed with BN.
Forty-one female participants, 21 diagnosed with BN and 20 healthy matched controls (HC), underwent a structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisition and clinical assessment. The NAc and the CN were manually segmented using the software Slicer 3D.
The results reveal a significant volumetric decrease in the CN and a preserved NAc volume in BN compared to the control group.
These findings suggest a contributory role of the caudate nucleus part of the dorsal striatum in the psychopathology of BN. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2015; 48:206–214)