Anorexia Linked to Notable Shrinkage of Key Brain Structures
Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) have notable shrinkage in key brain structures and these deficits are less severe in patients on the path to weight recovery, a new brain imaging study shows. The reductions of cortical thickness, subcortical volumes, and cortical surface area were "very pronounced in acutely underweight anorexia," Stefan Ehrlich, MD, PhD, head of the Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Center, Technical University in Dresden, Germany, told Medscape Medical News.
@bhumika Researchers with the international ENIGMA Eating Disorders Working Group analyzed T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for nearly 2000 people with AN (including those in recovery) and healthy controls across 22 sites worldwide. In the AN sample, reductions in cortical thickness, subcortical volumes, and, to a lesser extent, cortical surface area, were "sizable (Cohen’s d up to 0.95), widespread, and co-localized with hub regions," they report. These reductions were two and four times larger than the abnormalities in brain size and shape seen in patients with other mental illnesses, the researchers note.