Voxel-based morphometry in eating disorders: correlation of psychopathology with grey matter volume.

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Hauptstrasse 8, Freiburg, Germany.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 05/2010; 182(2):146-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.02.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Twenty-nine adult female patients with eating disorders (17 with bulimia nervosa, 12 with restrictive anorexia nervosa) were compared with 18 age-matched female healthy controls, using voxel-based morphometry. Restrictive anorexia nervosa patients showed a decrease of grey matter, particularly affecting the anterior cingulate cortex, frontal operculum, temporoparietal regions and the precuneus. By contrast, patients with bulimia nervosa did not differ from healthy controls. A positive correlation of "drive for thinness" and grey matter volume of the right inferior parietal lobe was found for both eating disorder groups. The strong reduction of grey matter volume in adult patients with restrictive anorexia nervosa is in line with results of adolescent patients. Contrary to other studies, this first voxel-based morphometry report of bulimic patients did not find any structural abnormalities. The inferior parietal cortex is a critical region for sensory integration of body and spatial perception, and the correlation of "drive for thinness" with grey matter volume of this region points to a neural correlate of this core psychopathological feature of eating disorders.

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    Neurocase 01/2014; DOI:10.1080/13554794.2013.878728 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies focussing on neuroimaging features of eating disorders have observed that anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by significant grey matter (GM) atrophy in many brain regions, especially in the cerebellum and anterior cingulate cortex. To date, no studies have found GM atrophy in bulimia nervosa (BN) or have directly compared patients with AN and BN. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to characterize brain abnormalities in AN and BN patients, comparing them with each other and with a control group, and correlating brain volume with clinical features. We recruited 17 AN, 13 BN and 14 healthy controls. All subjects underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a T1-weighted 3D image. VBM analysis was carried out with the FSL-VBM 4.1 tool. We found no global atrophy, but regional GM reduction in AN with respect to controls and BN in the cerebellum, fusiform area, supplementary motor area, and occipital cortex, and in the caudate in BN compared to AN and controls. Both groups of patients had a volumetric increase bilaterally in somatosensory regions with respect to controls, in areas that are typically involved in the sensory-motor integration of body stimuli and in mental representation of the body image. Our VBM study documented, for the first time in BN patients, the presence of volumetric alterations and replicated previous findings in AN patients. We evidenced morphological differences between AN and BN, demonstrating in the latter atrophy of the caudate nucleus, a region involved in reward mechanisms and processes of self-regulation, perhaps involved in the genesis of the binge-eating behaviors of this disorder.
    07/2013; 213(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.03.010
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by dysregulation of impulse control, in other words, uncontrolled eating. Functional neuroimaging studies have been sparse and have used variable methodologies. METHOD: Thirteen medication-free female BN patients and 13 female healthy controls were investigated by functional magnetic resonance imaging using a disease-specific food paradigm. Stimuli were rated after the scanning procedure. RESULTS: Bulimia nervosa patients showed increased fear ratings and a trend for increased disgust. Magnetic resonance imaging data of 10 BN patients could be analysed. Three BN patients had to be excluded from the analysis because of minimal blood oxygen level dependent signals. Compared with healthy controls, BN patients showed less activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, which extended into the lateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, the right temporal pole showed decreased reactivity. DISCUSSION: This study substantiates a key role of lateral prefrontal dysfunction in BN, a brain region involved in impulse control. Furthermore, the anterior cingulate cortex, which plays a key role in emotion processing, is dysfunctional. A major limitation of this study is the small sample size. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
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