SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • bulimia nervosa;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • manual segmentation;
  • nucleus accumbens;
  • caudate nucleus

ABSTRACT

Objective

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.

Method

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.

Results

The results reveal a significant volumetric decrease in the CN and a preserved NAc volume in BN compared to the control group.

Discussion

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)