Role of Cortisol in Menstrual Recovery in Adolescent Girls with Anorexia Nervosa

Neuroendocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.31). 05/2006; 59(4 Pt 1):598-603. DOI: 10.1203/01.pdr.0000203097.64918.63
Source: PubMed


Neuroendocrine abnormalities in anorexia nervosa (AN) include hypercortisolemia, hypogonadism, and hypoleptinemia, and neuroendocrine predictors of menstrual recovery are unclear. Preliminary data suggest that increases in fat mass may better predict menstrual recovery than leptin. High doses of cortisol decrease luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency, and cortisol predicts regional fat distribution. We hypothesized that an increase in fat mass and decrease in cortisol would predict menstrual recovery in adolescents with AN. Thirty-three AN girls 12-18 y old and 33 controls were studied prospectively for 1 y. Body composition [dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)], leptin, and urinary cortisol (UFC) were measured at 0, 6, and 12 mo. Serum cortisol was measured overnight (every 30 min) in 18 AN subjects and 17 controls. AN subjects had higher UFC/cr x m2 and cortisol area under curve (AUC), and lower leptin levels than controls. Leptin increased significantly with recovery. When menses-recovered AN subjects were compared with AN subjects not recovering menses and controls, menses-recovered AN subjects had higher baseline cortisol levels and greater increases in leptin than controls and greater increases in fat mass than AN subjects not recovering menses and controls (adjusted for multiple comparisons). In a logistic regression model, increasing fat mass, but not leptin, predicted menstrual recovery. Baseline cortisol level strongly predicted increases in the percentage of body fat. We demonstrate that 1) high baseline cortisol level predicts increases in body fat and 2) increases in body fat predict menses recovery in AN.

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    • "Weight rehabilitation is a prerequisite for reestablishing endocrine function [11,18,19]. During weight gain, fat mass increases resulting in the normalization of gonadal hormones and leptin levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: The resumption of menses is an important indicator of recovery in anorexia nervosa (AN). Patients with early-onset AN are at particularly great risk of suffering from the long-term physical and psychological consequences of persistent gonadal dysfunction. However, the clinical variables that predict the recovery of menstrual function during weight gain in AN remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of several clinical parameters on the resumption of menses in first-onset adolescent AN in a large, well-characterized, homogenous sample that was followed-up for 12 months. A total of 172 female adolescent patients with first-onset AN according to DSM-IV criteria were recruited for inclusion in a randomized, multi-center, German clinical trial. Menstrual status and clinical variables (i.e., premorbid body mass index (BMI), age at onset, duration of illness, duration of hospital treatment, achievement of target weight at discharge, and BMI) were assessed at the time of admission to or discharge from hospital treatment and at a 12-month follow-up. Based on German reference data, we calculated the percentage of expected body weight (%EBW), BMI percentile, and BMI standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) for all time points to investigate the relationship between different weight measurements and resumption of menses. Forty-seven percent of the patients spontaneously began menstruating during the follow-up period.%EBW at the 12-month follow-up was strongly correlated with the resumption of menses. The absence of menarche before admission, a higher premorbid BMI, discharge below target weight, and a longer duration of hospital treatment were the most relevant prognostic factors for continued amenorrhea. The recovery of menstrual function in adolescent patients with AN should be a major treatment goal to prevent severe long-term physical and psychological sequelae. Patients with premenarchal onset of AN are at particular risk for protracted amenorrhea despite weight rehabilitation. Reaching and maintaining a target weight between the 15th and 20th BMI percentile is favorable for the resumption of menses within 12 months. Whether patients with a higher premorbid BMI may benefit from a higher target weight needs to be investigated in further studies.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · BMC Psychiatry
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    • "Maintenance of an unhealthy low-weight is a defining feature of AN and the DSM-IV provides a criterion for this determination of BMI less than 18.5. However, ideal body weight for a given individual is complex and most precisely defined by an individual's weight history along with other parameters that index physical recovery (Dei, Seravalli, Bruni, Balzi, & Pasqua, 2008; Misra et al., 2006). We determined ideal BMI and whether participants had current or past low BMI by combining information from a detailed weight history, "
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in sensation (e.g., prickly skin) are crucial constituents of emotional experience, and the intensity of perceived changes has been linked to emotional intensity and dysregulation. The current study examined the relationship between sensory sensitivity and emotion regulation among adults with anorexia nervosa (AN), a disorder characterised by disturbance in the experience of the body. Twenty-one individuals with AN, 20 individuals with AN who were weight-restored, and 23 typical controls completed self-report measures of sensory sensitivity and emotion regulation. AN participants reported heightened sensory sensitivity and greater difficulty regulating emotions relative to controls. Self-perceived sensory sensitivity was associated with greater emotion dysregulation. Weight-restored AN participants reported greater ability to regulate emotions than their currently underweight counterparts, despite heightened sensitivity. Findings suggest that hypersensitivity may be a persisting feature in AN, and that weight restoration may involve improved ability to cope with sensation.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Cognition and Emotion
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    • "They also reported that baseline ghrelin, peptideYY, and cortisol are the most significant and independent predictors of subsequent changes in lumbar and whole-body bone densities in AN (Misra et al., 2008). However, they did not apply the change in cortisol levels from baseline to the final period as a prognostic predictor , because in their study the change was not significant (Misra et al., 2006b). Our study examined whether such change values of AUC cortisol levels before and after inpatient treatment could be applicable as a prognostic predictor. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in children with anorexia nervosa (AN) before and after inpatient treatment. Salivary cortisol levels were measured to ascertain whether changes in the HPA axis activity following therapeutic intervention could be applicable as a prognostic predictor. This study comprised 21 females with AN and 22 control subjects. Saliva was collected at 2-hour intervals from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. before and after inpatient treatment. The concentrations for areas under the curve (AUC) were compared with physical parameters, eating attitude score, profile of mood states (POMS), and prognostic factors. Mean salivary cortisol levels at all points and mean AUC cortisol levels in subjects with AN before therapy were significantly higher than those in controls, but returned to control levels after inpatient treatment. Higher AUC cortisol levels were associated with lower standard deviation for weight in AN. A significant positive correlation between the AUC cortisol level and POMS subscale of "Fatigue" was apparent in the control group, but not in the AN group. The increased change values of AUC cortisol level before and after inpatient treatment correlated with increased body weight gain ratio just after treatment, but not with the ratio after one year. The present study indicated that HPA axis activity could reflect severity of illness, but did not show an accurate neuroendocrine response for mood states. Changes in HPA axis activity following treatment could therefore be used to predict prognosis and particularly in the short term.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
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