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Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 1;85(11):956-965. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.01.027. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Neural Correlates of Failed Inhibitory Control as an Early Marker of Disordered Eating in Adolescents.

Author information

1
Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: savani.bartholdy@kcl.ac.uk.
2
Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, London, United Kingdom.
3
Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
5
Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Dublin, Ireland.
6
University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
7
Medical Research Council Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
8
Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany; Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.
9
Neurospin, Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, Paris, France.
10
Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.
11
Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
12
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
13
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig, Germany.
14
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM Unit 1000 "Neuroimaging & Psychiatry," University Paris Sud - Paris Saclay, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
15
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM Unit 1000 "Neuroimaging & Psychiatry," University Paris Sud - Paris Saclay, University Paris Descartes, Paris, France; Department of Adolescent Psychopathology and Medicine, Maison de Solenn, Cochin Hospital, Public Assistance Hospitals of Paris, Paris, France.
16
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany; Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
17
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
18
Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
19
School of Psychology and Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
20
Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, London, United Kingdom; South London & Maudsley National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Binge eating and other forms of disordered eating behavior (DEB) are associated with failed inhibitory control. This study investigated the neural correlates of failed inhibitory control as a potential biomarker for DEB.

METHODS:

The study used prospective longitudinal data from the European IMAGEN study adolescent cohort. Participants completed baseline assessments (questionnaires and a brain scan [functional magnetic resonance imaging]) at 14 years of age and a follow-up assessment (questionnaires) at 16 years of age. Self-reported binge eating and/or purging were used to indicate presence of DEB. Neural correlates of failed inhibition were assessed using the stop signal task. Participants were categorized as healthy control subjects (reported no DEB at both time points), maintainers (reported DEB at both time points), recoverers (reported DEB at baseline only), and developers (reported DEB at follow-up only). Forty-three individuals per group with complete scanning data were matched on gender, age, puberty, and intelligence (N = 172).

RESULTS:

At baseline, despite similar task performance, incorrectly responding to stop signals (failed inhibitory control) was associated with greater recruitment of the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex in the developers compared with healthy control subjects and recoverers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Greater recruitment of the medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate regions during failed inhibition accords with abnormal evaluation of errors contributing to DEB development. As this precedes symptom onset and is evident despite normal task performance, neural responses during failed inhibition may be a useful biomarker of vulnerability for DEB. This study highlights the potential value of prospective neuroimaging studies for identifying markers of illness before the emergence of behavior changes.

KEYWORDS:

Binge eating; Biomarkers; Eating disorders; Inhibitory control; Neuroimaging; Stop signal task

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