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  Dynamic changes in white matter microstructure in anorexia nervosa: Findings from a longitudinal study

von Schwanenflug, N., Müller, D. K., King, J. A., Ritschel, F., Bernardoni, F., Mohammadi, S., et al. (2019). Dynamic changes in white matter microstructure in anorexia nervosa: Findings from a longitudinal study. Psychological Medicine, 49(9), 1555-1564. doi:10.1017/S003329171800212X.

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von Schwanenflug, Nina 1, 2, Author
Müller, Dirk K. 3, Author
King, Joseph A. 1, Author
Ritschel, Franziska 1, Author
Bernardoni, Fabio 1, Author
Mohammadi, Siawoosh4, 5, Author           
Geisler, Daniel 1, Author
Roessner, Veit 6, Author
Biemann, Ronald 7, Author
Marxen, Michael 3, Author
Ehrlich, Stefan 1, 6, Author
1Division of Psychological Medicine and Developmental Neuroscience, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Neuroimaging Center, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_2205649              
6Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Center, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Diffusion tensor imaging; Eating disorders; Longitudinal; Magnetic resonance imaging; TBSS; White matter
 Abstract: Background
Gray matter (GM) ‘pseudoatrophy’ is well-documented in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), but changes in white matter (WM) are less well understood. Here we investigated the dynamics of microstructural WM brain changes in AN patients during short-term weight restoration in a combined longitudinal and cross-sectional study design.

Diffusion-weighted images were acquired in young AN patients before (acAN-Tp1, n = 56) and after (acAN-Tp2, n = 44) short-term weight restoration as well as in age-matched healthy controls (HC, n = 60). Images were processed using Tract-Based-Spatial-Statistics to compare fractional anisotropy (FA) across groups and timepoints.

In the cross-sectional comparison, FA was significantly reduced in the callosal body in acAN-Tp1 compared with HC, while no differences were found between acAN-Tp2 and HC. In the longitudinal arm, FA increased with weight gain in acAN-Tp2 relative to acAN-Tp1 in large parts of the callosal body and the fornix, while it decreased in the right corticospinal tract.

Our findings reveal that dynamic, bidirectional changes in WM microstructure in young underweight patients with AN can be reversed with brief weight restoration therapy. These results parallel those previously observed in GM and suggest that alterations in WM in non-chronic AN are also state-dependent and rapidly reversible with successful intervention.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-08-282019-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1017/S003329171800212X
PMID: 30149815
Other: Epub ahead of print
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : -
Grant ID : EH 367/5-1 ; EH 367/7-1 ; MO 2397/4-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project name : Volition and Cognitive Control: Mechanisms, Modulators and Dysfunctions / SFB 940
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Swiss Anorexia Nervosa Foundation
Project name : Mesoscopic characterization of human white-matter: A computational in-vivo MRI framework / MWMI
Grant ID : 658589
Funding program : Horizon 2020
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

Source 1

Title: Psychological Medicine
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Cambridge, England : Cambridge University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 49 (9) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1555 - 1564 Identifier: ISSN: 0033-2917
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954927634419