Neuroimaging in eating disorders
Behavioral Sciences Institute and Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain
Abstract: Neuroimaging techniques have been useful tools for accurate investigation of brain structure and function in eating disorders. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and voxel-based morphometry have been the most relevant technologies in this regard. The purpose of this review is to update the existing data on neuroimaging in eating disorders. The main brain changes seem to be reversible to some extent after adequate weight restoration. Brain changes in bulimia nervosa seem to be less pronounced than in anorexia nervosa and are mainly due to chronic dietary restrictions. Different subtypes of eating disorders might be correlated with specific brain functional changes. Moreover, anorectic patients who binge/purge may have different functional brain changes compared with those who do not binge/purge. Functional changes in the brain might have prognostic value, and different changes with respect to the binding potential of 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, and D2/D3 receptors may be persistent after recovering from an eating disorder.
Keywords: neuroimaging, brain changes, brain receptors, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorders
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