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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2011 Aug;124(2):120-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01701.x. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Neurocognition in bulimic eating disorders: a systematic review.

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King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, London, UK.


Van den Eynde F, Guillaume S, Broadbent H, Stahl D, Campbell IC, Schmidt U, Tchanturia K. Neurocognition in bulimic eating disorders: a systematic review.


  The aim of this study was to review the literature on neurocognition comparing people with a bulimic eating disorder in the acute phase of the illness with healthy controls (HC).


  The review follows the PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis) statement guidelines. Three databases (Medline, Web of Science, and Scopus) were searched combining the search terms 'bulimic disorder', 'bulimia nervosa (BN)', 'binge-eating disorder (BED)' with terms referring to cognitive domains (e.g. 'executive functions').


  Thirty-seven studies on people with BN and four on people with BED were selected for review. Overall, sample sizes were relatively small [bulimic disorders: median and range 22 (12-83); HC: 27 (13-172)]. The diversity in methodology precluded a meta-analytical approach. People with a bulimic disorder did not present with a clear neurocognitive profile. Inclusion of salient, disorder-related stimuli (e.g. body weight/shape words) in the neurocognitive paradigms tended to generate differences between people with a bulimic disorder and HC.


  Neurocognition in bulimic eating disorders is under researched, and the available evidence is inconclusive. This review outlines strategies for further research in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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