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

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Hauptstrasse 8, Freiburg, Germany.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 05/2010; 182(2):146-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.02.004
Source: PubMed


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.

10 Reads
    • "GM changes in the hypothalamus (Boghi et al., 2011) and the right frontal and temporal cortical structures (Brooks et al., 2011; Amianto et al., 2013); GM changes in the cingulum correlated with lowest lifetime BMI (Muhlau et al., 2007). Still, other studies did not find any correlations of GM changes with BMI (Joos et al., 2010; Fonville et al., 2013). The amount of weight loss prior to admission was associated with global GM loss in one small study (Bomba et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acute anorexia nervosa (AN) is associated with marked brain volume loss potentially leading to neuropsychological deficits. However, the mechanisms leading to this brain volume loss and its influencing factors are poorly understood and the clinical relevance of these brain alterations for the outcome of these AN-patients is yet unknown. Brain volumes of 56 female adolescent AN inpatients and 50 healthy controls (HCs) were measured using MRI scans. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to determine the impact of body weight at admission, prior weight loss, age of onset and illness duration on volume loss at admission and to analyse the association of brain volume reduction with body weight at a 1-year follow-up (N = 25). Cortical and subcortical grey matter (GM) and cortical white matter (WM) but not cerebellar GM or WM were associated with low weight at admission. Amount of weight loss, age of onset and illness duration did not independently correlate with any volume changes. Prediction of age-adjusted standardized body mass index (BMI-SDS) at 1-year follow-up could be significantly improved from 34% of variance explained by age and BMI-SDS at admission to 47.5-53% after adding cortical WM, cerebellar GM or WM at time of admission. Whereas cortical GM changes appear to be an unspecific reflection of current body weight ("state marker"), cortical WM and cerebellar volume losses seem to indicate a longer-term risk (trait or "scar" of the illness), which appear to be important for the prediction of weight rehabilitation and long-term outcome. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2015; 68:228-237. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.06.019 · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The most frequently reported structural brain findings in adult patients with AN compared to healthy controls are brain alterations at a global level, which involves an overall reduction of white matter (myelinated axons) and gray matter (cell bodies of neurons and glial cells), and increased volume of the ventricles and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (Frank, Bailer, Henry, Wagner, & Kaye, 2004). Studies have also reported regional brain abnormalities in patients with AN (Brooks et al., 2011; Joos et al., 2010; McCormick et al., 2008; Suchan et al., 2010). However, the results from these studies are inconsistent, and there is no agreement upon which regions of the brain are most affected. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Structural brain changes associated with starvation and clinical measurements were explored in four females with anorexia nervosa with different clinical course, at baseline and 1-year follow-up, after receiving intensive inpatient treatment at a specialized eating disorder unit. Global volume alterations were associated with weight changes. Regional volume alterations were also associated with weight changes, with the largest changes occurring in the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, pallidum, and putamen. Largest changes in cortical thickness occurred in the frontal and temporal lobes. The results are preliminary; however, they show that fluctuations in weight are associated with brain volume alterations, especially gray matter. We suggest that these parts of the brain are vulnerable to starvation and malnutrition, and could be a part of the pathophysiology of AN.
    Neurocase 01/2014; 21(2). DOI:10.1080/13554794.2013.878728 · 1.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Please cite this article as: Amianto, F., et al., Brain volumetric abnormalities in patients with anorexia and bulimia nervosa: A Voxelbased morphometry study. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging (2013), Joos et al., 2010). Boghi and coworkers found WM alterations but suggested that in early stages of the disease these could be the consequences of acute alterations of eating intake (Boghi et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
Show more