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J Psychiatr Res. 1996 Sep-Oct;30(5):401-10.

Cognitive functioning, weight change and therapy in anorexia nervosa.

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Institute of Food Research, Earley Gate, Reading, U.K.


Anorexia nervosa is associated with impairments in cognitive function which have been hypothesized to be fundamentally attentional in nature. The current study investigated whether therapy and weight gain affect these impairments. A group of anorexics (N = 12) completed a battery of cognitive performance tasks and self-report measures of psychopathology on three occasions, over the course of 12 weeks of in-patient treatment. A non-clinical control population (N = 17) completed the same measures. The anorexics improved on all measures of psychopathology and affective state as a result of therapy. Anorexics displayed poorer recall, reaction times, and motor speed than the control subjects. Although there was a gain in weight over the course of therapy, there was no corresponding improvement in cognitive performance. Impaired task performance in anorexics was not directly related to their psychopathology or affective state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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