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Keywords:

  • fMRI;
  • functional connectivity;
  • striatum;
  • obstetric complications;
  • anorexia nervosa

ABSTRACT

Objective

To investigate the volume and functional connectivity of dorsal and ventral striatal nuclei in anorexia nervosa (AN) and their relationship with early exposure to obstetric complications.

Method

Fifty-one patients with lifetime AN (35 acute, 16 recovered) and 34 healthy controls underwent high-resolution and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Results

The AN group showed reduced functional connectivity of the putamen compared with healthy women, and this reduction was more evident in patients with lifetime binge eating/purging. Both acute and recovered AN groups showed a larger left accumbens area compared with that of healthy women. The functional connectivity of bilateral nucleus accumbens and putamen showed significant negative correlations with number of obstetric complications in the AN group.

Discussion

This study supports the hypothesis that AN is associated with structural and functional alterations of striatal networks, and reveals the possible role of obstetric complications in the pathogenesis of striatal dysfunction. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:686–695)