Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 12

Increased frontal electroencephalogram theta amplitude in patients with anorexia nervosa compared to healthy controls

Authors Hestad K, Weider S, Nilsen KB, Indredavik MS, Sand T

Received 26 May 2016

Accepted for publication 30 June 2016

Published 21 September 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2419—2423


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Knut A Hestad,1–3 Siri Weider,3,4 Kristian Bernhard Nilsen,5–7 Marit Sæbø Indredavik,8,9 Trond Sand7,10

1Department of Research, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Brumunddal, Norway; 2Department of Public Health, Hedmark University of Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway; 3Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; 4Department of Psychiatry, Specialised Unit for Eating Disorder Patients, Levanger Hospital, Health Trust Nord-Trøndelag, Levanger, Norway; 5Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; 6Department of Work Psychology and Physiology, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway; 7Department of Neurology, Section for Clinical Neurophysiology, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Oslo, Norway; 8Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; 9Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway; 10Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, St Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

Objective: To conduct a blind study of quantitative electroencephalogram-band amplitudes in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and healthy controls.
Methods: Twenty-one patients with AN and 24 controls were examined with eyes-closed 16-channel electroencephalogram. Main variables were absolute alpha, theta, and delta amplitudes in frontal, temporal, and posterior regions.
Results: There were no significant differences between the AN patients and controls regarding absolute regional band amplitudes in µV. Borderline significance was found for anterior theta (P=0.051). Significantly increased left and right frontal electrode theta amplitude was found in AN patients (F3, P=0.014; F4, P=0.038) compared to controls. Significant differences were also observed for secondary variables: lower values for relative parietooccipital delta and frontocentral alpha activity among AN patients than among controls.
Conclusion: We observed slight excess frontal theta and lower relative alpha and delta amplitudes among AN patients than among controls. This pattern is possibly related to a slight frontal lobe dysfunction in AN, or it may reflect increased attention/vigilance or another state-related change in patients with AN compared to healthy controls.

Keywords: anorexia, EEG, frontal theta, alpha, delta, eating disorders

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]