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

Authors Hestad KA, 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

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S113586

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

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

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