2006 issue 1


Volume 15, issue 1

Review article

Structural and functional neuroimaging abnormalities in patients with anorexia nervosa

ANNA ŚMIECH1, Jolanta Rabe-Jabłońska1
1. Klinika Zaburzeń Afektywnych i Psychiatrii Młodzieżowej Katedry Psychiatrii Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Łodzi
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2006; 15 (1): 45-21
Keywords: anorexia nervosa, central nervous system, neuropathology


Objectives. The paper presents a review of current knowledge based on neuroimaging findings concerning the brain structure and functioning in anorexia nervosa.

Review. It is commonly known that anorexia nervosa is associated with a variety of somatic complications resulting from chronic undernourishment. Although the central nervous system has mechanisms protecting from consequences of nutritional and energetic deficiency, a vast amount of data have been collected evidencing impairments of the brain structure andfunction in the course of the disorder in question. Most of the detected abnormalities correlated with the degree of the patients' cachexia and duration of the disorder There are findings suggesting that some of the abnormalities ameliorate when remission is attained. However, even though there is no certain evidence, some authors continue to claim that neuropathology is a premorbid feature triggering the onset of anorexia nervosa.

Conclusions. The future research should be aimed at seeking possible causes of neuropathology concurrent with anorexia nervosa, and possibilities ofpreventing these abnormalities development or supporting the CNS regeneration in the process of recovery.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Anna Śmiech, Klinika Zaburzeń Afektywnych i Psychiatrii Młodzieżowej Katedry Psychiatrii Uniwersytetu Medycznego, ul. Czechosłowacka 8/10, 92-216 Łódź, e-mail: annasmiech@wp.pl