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Although deficits in affective processing are a core component of anorexia nervosa (AN), we lack a detailed characterization of the neurobiological underpinnings of emotion regulation impairment in AN. Moreover, it remains unclear whether these neural correlates scale with clinical outcomes.
We investigated the neural correlates of negative emotion regulation in a sample of young women receiving day-hospital treatment for AN (n = 21) and healthy controls (n = 21). We aimed to determine whether aberrant brain activation patterns during emotion regulation predicted weight gain following treatment in AN patients and were linked to AN severity. To achieve this, participants completed a cognitive reappraisal paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Skin conductance response, as well as subjective distress ratings, were recorded to corroborate task engagement.
Compared to controls, patients with AN showed reduced activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) during cognitive reappraisal [pFWE<0.05, threshold-free cluster enhancement (TFCE) corrected]. Importantly, psycho–physiological interaction analysis revealed reduced functional connectivity between the dlPFC and the amygdala in AN patients during emotion regulation (pFWE<0.05, TFCE corrected), and dlPFC-amygdala uncoupling was associated with emotion regulation deficits (r = −0.511, p = 0.018) and eating disorder severity (r = −0.565, p = .008) in the AN group. Finally, dlPFC activity positively correlated with increases in body mass index (r = 0.471, p = 0.042) and in body fat mass percentage (r = 0.605, p = 0.008) following 12 weeks of treatment.
Taken together, our findings indicate that individuals with AN present altered fronto-amygdalar response during cognitive reappraisal and that this response may serve as a predictor of response to treatment and be linked to clinical severity.
Little evidence exists about suicidal acts in eating disorders and its relation with personality. We explored the prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts (SA) in women with bulimia nervosa (BN), and compared eating disorder symptoms, general psychopathology, impulsivity and personality between individuals who had and had not attempted suicide. We also determined the variables that better correlate with of SA.
Five hundred sixty-six BN outpatients (417 BN purging, 47 BN non-purging and 102 subthreshold BN) participated in the study.
Lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was 26.9%. BN subtype was not associated with lifetime SA (p = 0.36). Suicide attempters exhibited higher rates on eating symptomatology, general psychopathology, impulsive behaviors, more frequent history of childhood obesity and parental alcohol abuse (p < 0.004). Suicide attempters exhibited higher scores on harm avoidance and lower on self-directedness, reward dependence and cooperativeness (p < 0.002). The most strongly correlated variables with SA were: lower education, minimum BMI, previous eating disorder treatment, low self-directedness, and familial history of alcohol abuse (p < 0.006).
Our results support the notion that internalizing personality traits combined with impulsivity may increase the probability of suicidal behaviors in these patients. Future research may increase our understanding of the role of suicidality to work towards rational prevention of suicidal attempts.
with the DSM-5 new eating disorders (EDs) diagnostic subtypes were identified within the Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED) category, which have so far been under-researched. Objectives of this study were to examine differential features among OSFED subtypes, exploring short-term cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) response and identifying clinical predictors of therapy outcome.
the sample included 176 female patients diagnosed with OSFED [82 atypical anorexia nervosa (atypical-AN), 57 purging disorder (PD), and 37 subthreshold bulimia nervosa (sub-BN)]. Assessment included eating-related, psychopathological and personality measures.
results showed similar clinical and personality profiles between the diagnostic subtypes, with hardly any differences, only observable in the core symptoms of each diagnosis. The sub-BN group was the one which showed more social impairment. Regarding treatment outcome, the three groups did not reveal significant differences in remission rates, therapeutic adherence or dropout rates, reaching rates of dropout from 36.8% to 50% (p =.391). However, different ED subtype predictors appear related with full remission or dropout risk, specifically personality traits.
our results suggest that OSFED patients may benefit similarly from the same CBT outpatient group approach. However, high dropout rates and low motivation seems to be an important limitation and challenge for future approaches.
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