Eunice Ko

Brigham and Women's Hospital , Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (2)11.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have provided evidence of food motivation circuitry dysfunction in individuals with anorexia nervosa. However, methodological limitations present challenges to the development of a cohesive neurobiological model of anorexia nervosa. Our goal was to investigate the neural circuitry of appetite dysregulation across states of hunger and satiety in active and weight-restored phases of anorexia nervosa using robust methodology to advance our understanding of potential neural circuitry abnormalities related to hedonic and nonhedonic state and trait. We scanned women with active anorexia nervosa, weight-restored women with anorexia nervosa and healthy-weight controls on a 3-T Siemens magnetic resonance scanner while they viewed images of high- and low-calorie foods and objects before (premeal) and after (postmeal) eating a 400 kcal meal. We enrolled 12 women with active disease, 10 weight-restored women with anorexia nervosa and 11 controls in our study. Compared with controls, both weight-restored women and those with active disease demonstrated hypoactivity premeal in the hypothalamus, amygdala and anterior insula in response to high-calorie foods (v. objects). Postmeal, hypoactivation in the anterior insula persisted in women with active disease. Percent signal change in the anterior insula was positively correlated with food stimuli ratings and hedonic and nonhedonic appetite ratings in controls, but not women with active disease. Our findings are limited by a relatively small sample size, which prevented the use of an analysis of variance model and exploration of interaction effects, although our substantial effect sizes of between-group differences suggest adequate power for our statistical analysis approach. Participants taking psychotropic medications were included. Our data provide evidence of potential state and trait hypoactivations in food motivation regions involved in the assessment of food's reward value and integration of these with interoceptive signalling of one's internal state of well-being, with important relations between brain activity and homeostatic and hedonic aspects of appetite. Our findings give novel evidence of disruption in neurobiological circuits and stress the importance of examining both state and trait characteristics in the investigation of brain phenotypes in individuals with anorexia nervosa.
    Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 04/2012; 37(5):322-32. · 6.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of research on obesity (OB) has focused primarily on clinical features (eating behavior, adiposity measures) or peripheral appetite-regulatory peptides (leptin, ghrelin). However, recent functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that some reward circuitry regions that are associated with appetite-regulatory hormones are also involved in the development and maintenance of OB. Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), characterized by hyperphagia and hyperghrelinemia reflecting multi-system dysfunction in inhibitory and satiety mechanisms, serves as an extreme model of genetic OB. Simple (non-PWS) OB represents an OB-control state. This study investigated subcortical food motivation circuitry and prefrontal inhibitory circuitry functioning in response to food stimuli before and after eating in individuals with PWS compared with OB. We hypothesized that groups would differ in limbic regions (that is, hypothalamus, amygdala) and prefrontal regions associated with cognitive control (that is, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) after eating. A total of 14 individuals with PWS, 14 BMI- and age-matched individuals with OB, and 15 age-matched healthy-weight controls viewed food and non-food images while undergoing functional MRI before (pre-meal) and after (post-meal) eating. Using SPM8, group contrasts were tested for hypothesized regions: hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens (NAc), amygdala, hippocampus, OFC, medial PFC and DLPFC. Compared with OB and HWC, PWS demonstrated higher activity in reward/limbic regions (NAc, amygdala) and lower activity in the hypothalamus and hippocampus in response to food (vs non-food) images pre-meal. Post meal, PWS exhibited higher subcortical activation (hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus) compared with OB and HWC. OB showed significantly higher activity versus PWS and HWC in cortical regions (DLPFC, OFC) associated with inhibitory control. In PWS, compared with OB per se, results suggest hyperactivations in subcortical reward circuitry and hypoactivations in cortical inhibitory regions after eating, which provides evidence of neural substrates associated with variable abnormal food motivation phenotypes in PWS and simple OB.
    International journal of obesity (2005) 10/2011; 36(5):638-47. · 5.22 Impact Factor