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Preserved white matter microstructure in adolescent patients with atypical anorexia nervosa

Olivo, G, Swenne, I, Zhukovsky, C, Tuunainen, A-K, Saaid, A, Salonen-Ros, H, Larsson, E-M, Brooks, SJ and Schiöth, HB (2019) Preserved white matter microstructure in adolescent patients with atypical anorexia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders. ISSN 0276-3478

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Objective: Patients with atypical anorexia nervosa (AN) are often in the normal-weight range at presentation; however, signs of starvation and medical instability are not rare. White matter (WM) microstructural correlates of atypical AN have not yet been investigated, leaving an important gap in our knowledge regarding the neural pathogenesis of this disorder.
Method: We investigated WM microstructural integrity in 25 drug-naïve adolescent patients with atypical AN and 25 healthy controls, using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with a tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) approach. Psychological variables related to the eating disorder and depressive symptoms were also evaluated by administering the eating disorder examination questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Montgomery–Åsberg depression rating scale (MADRS-S) respectively, to all participants.
Results: Patients and controls were in the normal-weight range and did not differ from the body mass index standard deviations for their age. No between groups difference in WM microstructure could be detected.
Discussion: Our findings support the hypothesis that brain structural alterations may not be associated to early-stage atypical AN. These findings also suggest that previous observations of alterations in WM microstructure in full syndrome AN may constitute state-related consequences of severe weight loss. Whether the preservation of WM structure is a pathogenetically discriminant feature of atypical AN or only an effect of a less severe nutritional disturbance, will have to be verified by future studies on larger samples, possibly directly comparing AN and atypical AN.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 02:01
DOI or ID number: 10.1002/eat.23012
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073
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