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    • "There are some caveats and limitations to this study. We did not find amygdala or OFC activation to food images in AN as shown in other studies (Ellison et al., 1998; Uher et al., 2003, 2004; Killgore and Yurgelun-Todd, 2005; Goldstone et al., 2009; Siep et al., 2009). This may be due to the small size of the amygdala, combined with low power due to our small sample size, and heterogeneity in AN patients, as we included both restrictive and purging AN individuals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe mental disorder characterized by food restriction and weight loss. This study aimed to test the model posed by Brooks et al. (2012a,b) that women suffering from chronic AN show decreased food-cue processing activity in brain regions associated with energy balance and food reward (bottom-up; BU) and increased activity in brain regions associated with cognitive control (top-down; TD) when compared with long-term recovered AN (REC) and healthy controls (HC). Three groups of women, 15 AN (mean illness duration 7.8 ± 4.1 years), 14 REC (mean duration of recovery 4.7 ± 2.7 years) and 15 HC viewed alternating blocks of food and non-food images preceded by a short instruction during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), after fasting overnight. Functional region of interests (fROIs) were defined in BU (e.g., striatum, hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and cerebellum), TD (e.g., medial and lateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate), the insula, and visual processing areas (VPA). Food-cue processing activation was extracted from all fROIs and compared between the groups. In addition, functional connectivity between the fROIs was examined by modular partitioning of the correlation matrix of all fROIs. We could not confirm the hypothesis that BU areas are activated to a lesser extent in AN upon visual processing of food images. Among the BU areas the caudate showed higher activation in both patient groups compared to HC. In accordance with Brooks et al.'s model, we did find evidence for increased TD control in AN and REC. The functional connectivity analysis yielded two clusters in HC and REC, but three clusters in AN. In HC, fROIs across BU, TD, and VPA areas clustered; in AN, one cluster span across BU, TD, and insula; one across BU, TD, and VPA areas; and one was confined to the VPA network. In REC, BU, TD, and VPA or VPA and insula clustered. In conclusion, despite weight recovery, neural processing of food cues is also altered in recovered AN patients.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 02/2015; 9:46. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00046 · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    • "Secretion of ghrelin, a critical hormone in the complex circuitry responsible for signaling human appetite, is elevated in AN (Germain et al., 2007, 2010; Koyama et al., 2010). Ghrelin signaling is involved in both homeostatic and hedonic pathways, both of which have been shown to be disrupted in individuals with AN (Ellison et al., 1998; Wagner et al., 2007, 2008; Fladung et al., 2010; Gizewski et al., 2010; Frank et al., 2012; Holsen et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence contributing to the understanding of neurobiological mechanisms underlying appetite dysregulation in anorexia nervosa draws heavily on separate lines of research into neuroendocrine and neural circuitry functioning. In particular, studies consistently cite elevated ghrelin and abnormal activation patterns in homeostatic (hypothalamus) and hedonic (striatum, amygdala, insula) regions governing appetite. The current preliminary study examined the interaction of these systems, based on research demonstrating associations between circulating ghrelin levels and activity in these regions in healthy individuals. In a cross-sectional design, we studied 13 women with active anorexia nervosa (AN), 9 women weight-recovered from AN (AN-WR), and 12 healthy-weight control women using a food cue functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm, with assessment of fasting levels of acylated ghrelin. Healthy-weight control women exhibited significant positive associations between fasting acylated ghrelin and activity in the right amygdala, hippocampus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex in response to high-calorie foods, associations which were absent in the AN and AN-WR groups. Women with AN-WR demonstrated a negative relationship between ghrelin and activity in the left hippocampus in response to high-calorie foods, while women with AN showed a positive association between ghrelin and activity in the right orbitofrontal cortex in response to low-calorie foods. Findings suggest a breakdown in the interaction between ghrelin signaling and neural activity in relation to reward responsivity in AN, a phenomenon that may be further characterized using pharmacogenetic studies.
    Psychiatry Research : Neuroimaging 05/2014; 223(2). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.04.015 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Changes in neural activity in response to different condi - tions that were initially explored with PET have typically been explored with functional magnetic resonance imaging ( fMRI ) since the technology became widely available . In the first fMRI study in AN , Ellison et al . ( 1998 ) presented individuals with images of high - and low - calorie drinks . The authors reported that the group of AN participants showed increased activity of the left insula , ACC and amygdala - hippocampal region in response to high - versus low - calorie drinks , relative to controls ."
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    ABSTRACT: Objective:Recent advances in neuroimaging techniques have enabled a better understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of anorexia nervosa (AN). The aim of this paper was to summarise our current understanding of the neurobiology of AN.Methods:The literature was searched using the electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar, and by additional hand searches through reference lists and specialist eating disorders journals. Relevant studies were included if they were written in English, only used human participants, had a specific AN group, used clinical populations of AN, group comparisons were reported for AN compared to healthy controls and not merely AN compared to other eating disorders or other psychiatric groups, and were not case studies.Results:The systematic review summarises a number of structural and functional brain differences which are reported in individuals with AN, including differences in neurotransmitter function, regional cerebral blood flow, glucose metabolism, volumetrics and the blood oxygen level dependent response.Conclusion:Several structural and functional differences have been reported in AN, some of which reverse and others which persist following weight restoration. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of AN, and further research in this field may provide new direction for the development of more effective treatments.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 11/2013; 48. DOI:10.1177/0004867413509693 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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