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Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2019 Nov;32(6):491-497. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000540.

The promise of neurobiological research in anorexia nervosa.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

This article reviews new research in the context of existing literature to identify approaches that will advance understanding of the persistence of anorexia nervosa.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Neuroscience research in anorexia nervosa has yielded disparate findings: no definitive neural mechanism underlying illness vulnerability or persistence has been identified and no clear neural target for intervention has emerged. Recent advances using structural and functional neuroimaging research, as well as new techniques for applying and combining these approaches, have led to a refined understanding of changes in neural architecture among individuals who are acutely ill, have undergone renourishment, or are in recovery/remission. In particular, advances have come from the incorporation of computational and translational approaches, as well as efforts to link experimental paradigms with illness-relevant behavior. Recent findings converge to suggest abnormalities in systems involved in reward learning and processing among individuals with anorexia nervosa.

SUMMARY:

Anorexia nervosa is associated with neurobiological abnormalities. Aberrant learning and reward processing may contribute to the persistence of illness. To better utilize new techniques to understand the neural mechanisms of persistent anorexia nervosa, it may help to distinguish stages of illness and to link neurobiology with maladaptive behavior.

PMID:
31306253
PMCID:
PMC6768709
[Available on 2020-11-01]
DOI:
10.1097/YCO.0000000000000540

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