Does Brain Size Matter in Anorexia Nervosa?

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
September/October Volume 24, Number 5
©2013 Gürze Books

Recent research at the University of Colorado indicates that adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) have larger right insulas and larger orbitofrontal cortices than do teens without eating disorders. The insula is a portion of the brain that is active when food is being tasted, and the orbitofrontal cortex signals sensory-specific satiety. Dr. Guido Frank, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and his colleagues reported their findings in the July 22, 2013 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Earlier studies in children with AN and adults who had recovered from the disorder raised the possibility that the size of the insula and prefrontal cortex might predispose a person to develop AN. Dr. Frank and colleagues’ study included 19 adolescent girls with AN and 22 matched controls, who underwent magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) to study brain volume.

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