Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10−7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10−6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10−6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10−6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P= 4×10−6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10-7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10-6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10-6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10-6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P=4×10-6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a highly heritable young-onset psychiatric illness the etiology of which remains unknown. Estrogen alpha and beta receptors, encoded by ESR1 and ESR2 genes, are involved in food intake regulation and eating behavior, and may have a potential role in AN. We performed a family-based association study of 17 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) encompassing ESR1 and ESR2 genes in a cohort of 321 French AN families. We attempted to replicate this finding in a cohort of 41 restrictive AN (RAN) families and in a population-based study of 693 young women. Using the transmission disequilibrium test, a significant over-transmission was detected between AN and ESR1 rs726281 and rs2295193. These SNPs and another among ESR1 were more specifically associated with the RAN subtype (rs726281, p=0.005, odds ratio (OR)=2.1, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.2–3.6; rs3798577, p=0.021, OR=1.6, 95% CI=1.1–2.3; and rs2295193, p=0.007, OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.2–2.5). A large eight-SNPs haplotype of ESR1 gene was also associated with AN (p<0.0001, OR=3.1, 95% CI=1.8–5.1). Association of ESR1 SNPs and RAN was driven by paternal over-transmissions (p<0.0001, OR=3.7, 95% CI=1.9–7.3). Furthermore, we confirmed the preferential paternal over-transmission of the ESR1 rs726281 on the independent German sample of 41 RAN trios (p=0.025, OR=3, 95% CI=1.1–8.3). Finally, rs3798577 was associated with eating disorders in a population-based sample of 693 women (p<0.01). Our findings are strongly in favor of an association between ESR1 polymorphisms and AN. In particular, ESR1 gene confers a high risk of vulnerability to the restrictive subtype of AN, and suggests that the estrogen pathway has to be further analyzed in AN.
anorexia nervosa; restrictive type; binge-eating/purging type; estrogen receptors; transmission disequilibrium test; population-based sample; Eating / Metabolic Disorders; Neurogenetics; Biological Psychiatry; Molecular & Cellular Neurobiology; Anorexia nervosa; estrogen receptors; restrictive type; binge-eating / purging type; transmission disequilibrium test; population-based sample
The functional c.385C>A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) gene, one of the major degrading enzymes of endocannabinoids, is reportedly associated with anorexia nervosa (AN). We genotyped the c.385C>A SNP (rs324420) in 762 lifetime AN and 605 control participants in Japan. There were significant differences in the genotype and allele frequencies of c.385C>A between the AN and control groups. The minor 385A allele was less frequent in the AN participants than in the controls (allele-wise, odds ratio = 0.799, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.653–0.976, P = 0.028). When the cases were subdivided into lifetime restricting subtype AN and AN with a history of binge eating or purging, only the restricting AN group exhibited a significant association (allele-wise, odds ratio = 0.717, 95% CI 0.557–0.922, P = 0.0094). Our results suggest that having the minor 385A allele of the FAAH gene may be protective against AN, especially restricting AN. This finding supports the possible role of the endocannabinoid system in susceptibility to AN.
Anandamide; cannabinoid 1 receptor; eating disorder; endocannabinoid
Several lines of evidence indicate that the central cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) as well as the major endocannabinoid degrading enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA) and monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) are implicated in mediating the orexigenic effects of cannabinoids. The aim of this study was to analyse whether nucleotide sequence variations in the CNR1, FAAH, NAAA and MGLL genes are associated with anorexia nervosa (AN).
We analysed the association of a previously described (AAT)n repeat in the 3' flanking region of CNR1 as well as a total of 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) representative of regions with restricted haplotype diversity in CNR1, FAAH, NAAA or MGLL in up to 91 German AN trios (patient with AN and both biological parents) using the transmission-disequilibrium-test (TDT). One SNP was additionally analysed in an independent case-control study comprising 113 patients with AN and 178 normal weight controls. Genotyping was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, ARMS-PCR or using 3730xl capillary sequencers.
The TDT revealed no evidence for association for any of the SNPs or the (AAT)n repeat with AN (all two-sided uncorrected p-values > 0.05). The lowest p-value of 0.11 was detected for the A-allele of the CNR1 SNP rs1049353 for which the transmission rate was 59% (95% confidence interval 47%...70%). Further genotyping of rs1049353 in 113 additional independent patients with AN and 178 normal weight controls could not substantiate the initial trend for association (p = 1.00).
As we found no evidence for an association of genetic variation in CNR1, FAAH, NAAA and MGLL with AN, we conclude that genetic variations in these genes do not play a major role in the etiology of AN in our study groups.
The purpose of this study was to compare the type and frequency of restrictive eating behaviors across the two subtypes of anorexia nervosa (AN; restricting [ANr] and binge eating/purging [ANbp]) using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and to determine whether subtype differences in restrictive eating behaviors were attributable to severity of the disorder or the frequency of binge eating.
Participants (N = 118) were women at least 18 years of age with full (n = 59) or sub-threshold (n = 59) AN who participated in a two week (EMA) protocol.
General estimating equations revealed that individuals with ANbp generally reported more frequent restrictive eating behaviors than individuals with ANr. These differences were mostly accounted for by greater severity of eating psychopathology, indicating that the presence and frequency of restrictive eating behaviors in AN may be non-weight-based markers of severity. Binge eating frequency did not account for these findings.
The present findings are especially interesting in light of the weight-based severity rating in the DSM-5.
Anorexia nervosa; subtypes; dietary restriction; severity
Food intake is mediated, in part, through brain pathways for motivation and reinforcement. Dysregulation of these pathways may underlay some of the behaviors exhibited by patients with eating disorders. Research using animal models of eating disorders has greatly contributed to the detailed study of potential brain mechanisms that many underlie the causes or consequences of aberrant eating behaviors. This review focuses on neurochemical evidence of reward-related brain dysfunctions obtained through animal models of binge eating, bulimia nervosa, or anorexia nervosa. The findings suggest that alterations in dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh) and opioid systems in reward-related brain areas occur in response to binge eating of palatable foods. Moreover, animal models of bulimia nervosa suggest that while bingeing on palatable food releases DA, purging attenuates the release of ACh that might otherwise signal satiety. Animal models of anorexia nervosa suggest that restricted access to food enhances the reinforcing effects of DA when the animal does eat. The activity-based anorexia model suggests alterations in mesolimbic DA and serotonin occur as a result of starvation coupled with excessive wheel running. These findings with animal models complement data obtained through neuroimaging and pharmacotherapy studies of clinical populations. Finally, information on the neurochemical consequences of the behaviors associated with these eating disorders will be useful in understanding these complex disorders and may inform future therapeutic approaches, as discussed here.
acetylcholine; binge eating; clinical studies; dopamine; eating disorders; opioids; rat; serotonin
We examined prevalence of substance use disorders (SUD) in women with: (1) anorexia nervosa (AN) restricting type (RAN); (2) AN with purging only (PAN); (3) AN with binge eating only (BAN); and (4) lifetime AN and bulimia nervosa (ANBN). Secondary analyses examined SUD related to lifetime purging behavior and lifetime binge eating.
Participants (N = 731) were drawn from the International Price Foundation Genetic Studies.
The prevalence of SUD differed across AN subtypes, with more in the ANBN group reporting SUD than those in the RAN and PAN groups. Individuals who purged were more likely to report substance use than those who did not purge. Prevalence of SUD differed across lifetime binge eating status.
SUD are common in AN and are associated with bulimic symptomatology. Results underscore the heterogeneity in AN, highlighting the importance of screening for SUD across AN subtypes.
eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; drug use; alcohol related disorders; cannabis
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is designed primarily as a clinical tool. Yet high rates of diagnostic “crossover” among the anorexia nervosa subtypes and bulimia nervosa may reflect problems with the validity of the current diagnostic schema, thereby limiting its clinical utility. This study was designed to examine diagnostic crossover longitudinally in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa to inform the validity of the DSM-IV-TR eating disorders classification system.
A total of 216 women with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa were followed for 7 years; weekly eating disorder symptom data collected using the Eating Disorder Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Examination allowed for diagnoses to be made throughout the follow-up period.
Over 7 years, the majority of women with anorexia nervosa experienced diagnostic crossover: more than half crossed between the restricting and binge eating/purging anorexia nervosa subtypes over time; one-third crossed over to bulimia nervosa but were likely to relapse into anorexia nervosa. Women with bulimia nervosa were unlikely to cross over to anorexia nervosa.
These findings support the longitudinal distinction of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa but do not support the anorexia nervosa subtyping schema.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) and related eating disorders are complex, multifactorial neuropsychiatric conditions with likely rare and common genetic and environmental determinants. To identify genetic variants associated with AN, we pursued a series of sequencing and genotyping studies focusing on the coding regions and upstream sequence of 152 candidate genes in a total of 1205 AN cases and 1948 controls. We identified individual variant associations in the Estrogen Receptor-ß (ESR2) gene, as well as a set of rare and common variants in the Epoxide Hydrolase 2 (EPHX2) gene, in an initial sequencing study of 261 early-onset severe AN cases and 73 controls (P=0.0004). The association of EPHX2 variants was further delineated in: (1) a pooling-based replication study involving an additional 500 AN patients and 500 controls (replication set P=0.00000016); (2) single-locus studies in a cohort of 386 previously genotyped broadly defined AN cases and 295 female population controls from the Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS) and a cohort of 58 individuals with self-reported eating disturbances and 851 controls (combined smallest single locus P<0.01). As EPHX2 is known to influence cholesterol metabolism, and AN is often associated with elevated cholesterol levels, we also investigated the association of EPHX2 variants and longitudinal body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol in BHS female and male subjects (N=229) and found evidence for a modifying effect of a subset of variants on the relationship between cholesterol and BMI (P<0.01). These findings suggest a novel association of gene variants within EPHX2 to susceptibility to AN and provide a foundation for future study of this important yet poorly understood condition.
anorexia nervosa; EPHX2; genomics; hyperlipidemia; pooling; sequencing
Anorexia nervosa (AN) and related eating disorders are complex, multifactorial neuropsychiatric conditions with likely rare and common genetic and environmental determinants. To identify genetic variants associated with AN, we pursued a series of sequencing and genotyping studies focusing on the coding regions and upstream sequence of 152 candidate genes in a total of 1205 AN cases and 1948 controls. We identified individual variant associations in the Estrogen Receptor-ß (ESR2) gene, as well as a set of rare and common variants in the Epoxide Hydrolase 2 (EPHX2) gene, in an initial sequencing study of 261 early-onset severe AN cases and 73 controls (p=0.0004). The association of EPHX2 variants was further delineated in: 1. a pooling-based replication study involving an additional 500 AN patients and 500 controls (replication set p=0.00000016); 2. Single locus studies in a cohort of 386 previously genotyped broadly-defined AN cases and 295 female population controls from the Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS) and a cohort of 58 individuals with self-reported eating disturbances and 851 controls (combined smallest single locus p<0.01). Since EPHX2 is known to influence cholesterol metabolism, and AN is often associated with elevated cholesterol levels, we also investigated the association of EPHX2 variants and longitudinal body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol in BHS females and males (N = 229) and found evidence for a modifying effect of a subset of variants on the relationship between cholesterol and BMI (p<0.01). These findings suggest a novel association of gene variants within EPHX2 to susceptibility to AN, and provide a foundation for future study of this important yet poorly understood condition.
genomics; sequencing; hyperlipidemia; pooling; EPHX2; anorexia nervosa
Individuals who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa refuse to maintain a minimally normal body weight, are intensely afraid of gaining weight and exhibit a significant disturbance in the perception of the shape and size of their body. Postmenarchal females with this disorder are amenorrohic. In the Binge-Eating/Purging subtype individuals regularly engage in binge eating and purging behaviour (i.e self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).
Hypokalaemia is often seen in chronic Anorexia Nervosa, especially that of the purging type (ANp), and, as well as electrocardiographic anomalies, this can lead to tubulointerstitial nephritis (hypokalaemic nephropathy) with typical histological characteristics. The physiopathological mechanisms behind this damage are linked to altered stimulation of vasoactive mediators, and to the ammonium-mediated activation of the alternative complement pathway. However, it has not yet been ascertained whether a variant of the pathway specific for ANp , exists.
We describe herein a case of hypokalaemic nephropathy in a patient affected by chronic ANp who presented to our Centre for Eating Disorders.
Hypokalaemia can provoke cardiovascular alterations as well as muscular and renal complications, and thus potential renal damage needs to be investigated in patients suffering from long-term purgative anorexia.
Extensive population-based genome-wide association studies have identified an association between the FTO gene and BMI; however, the mechanism of action is still unknown. To determine whether FTO may influence weight regulation through psychological and behavioral factors, seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the FTO gene were genotyped in 1085 individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and 677 healthy weight controls from the international Price Foundation Genetic Studies of Eating Disorders. Each SNP was tested in association with eating disorder phenotypes and measures that have previously been associated with eating behavior pathology: trait anxiety, harm-avoidance, novelty seeking, impulsivity, obsessionality, compulsivity, and concern over mistakes. After appropriate correction for multiple comparisons, no significant associations between individual FTO gene SNPs and eating disorder phenotypes or related eating behavior pathology were identified in cases or controls. Thus, this study found no evidence that FTO gene variants associated with weight regulation in the general population are associated with eating disorder phenotypes in AN participants or matched controls.
Picking and nibbling (P&N) is a newly studied eating behavior characterized by eating in an unplanned and repetitious manner in between meals and snacks. This behavior seems to be related to poorer weight loss outcomes after bariatric surgery for weight loss in severely obese patients, but clarification is still required regarding its value in other clinical samples.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency of P&N across different eating disorder samples, as well as to examine its association with psychopathological eating disorder features.
Our sample included treatment-seeking adult participants, recruited for five different clinical trials: 259 binge eating disorder (BED); 264 bulimia nervosa (BN) and 137 anorexia nervosa (AN). Participants were assessed using the Eating Disorders Examination interview before entering the clinical trials.
P&N was reported by 44% of the BED; 57.6% of the BN and 34.3% of the AN participants. No association was found between P&N and BMI, the presence of compensatory behaviors, binge eating or any of the EDE subscales.
This study suggests that P&N behavior is highly prevalent across eating disorder diagnoses. Our findings suggest that P&N is not associated with psychopathology symptoms or other eating disordered behaviors.
Picking and nibbling; eating behaviors; eating disordered behaviors
Elucidation of clinically relevant subtypes has been proposed as a means of advancing treatment research, but classifying anorexia nervosa (AN) patients into restricting and binge-eating/purging types has demonstrated limited predictive validity. This study aimed to evaluate whether an approach to classifying eating disorder patients based on comorbid personality psychopathology has utility in predicting treatment response and readmission in patients with AN.
Data were collected from 154 AN patients (M[SD] age = 25.6[9.4] years; 95.5% female; 96.8% Caucasian) at admission, discharge, and three months post-discharge from intensive treatment. Latent profile analysis of personality traits assessed at admission was performed to classify participants into personality subtypes, which were then used to predict outcomes at discharge and risk of readmission.
The best-fitting model identified three personality subtypes (undercontrolled, overcontrolled, low psychopathology) that contributed significantly to multivariate models predicting study outcomes. Undercontrolled patients were more likely to have a poor outcome at discharge than overcontrolled (OR = 3.56, p = .01) and low psychopathology patients (OR = 11.23, p <.001). Undercontrolled patients also had a greater risk of discharge against medical advice (HR = 2.08, p = .02) and readmission than overcontrolled patients (HR = 3.76, p = .009). Binge-eating/purging versus restricting subtypes did not predict discharge against medical advice or readmission in the multivariate models.
Findings support the clinical utility of personality subtypes in AN. Future work is needed to identify mechanisms that explain diminished treatment response in undercontrolled patients and to develop interventions for this high-risk group.
anorexia nervosa; subtypes; personality; latent profile analysis; treatment
Comorbidity among eating disorders, traumatic events, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been reported in several studies. The main objectives of this study were to describe the nature of traumatic events experienced and to explore the relation between PTSD and anorexia nervosa (AN) in a sample of women.
Eight hundred twenty-four participants from the National Institutes of Health funded Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa Collaborative Study were assessed for eating disorders, PTSD, and personality characteristics.
From a final sample of 753 women with AN, 13.7% (n=103) met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. The sample mean age was 29.5 years (SD=11.1). In pairwise comparisons across AN subtypes, the odds of having a PTSD diagnosis were significantly lower in individuals with restricting AN (RAN) than individuals with purging AN without binge eating (PAN) (OR=0.49, 95% CI=0.30, 0.80). The majority of participants with PTSD reported the first traumatic event before the onset of AN (64.1%, n=66). The most common traumatic events reported by those with a PTSD diagnosis were sexual related traumas during childhood (40.8%) and during adulthood (35.0%).
AN and PTSD do co-occur and traumatic events tend to occur prior to the onset of AN. Clinically, these results underscore the importance of assessing trauma history and PTSD in individuals with AN and raise the question of whether specific modifications or augmentations to standard treatment for AN should be considered in a subgroup to address PTSD-related psychopathology.
PTSD; anorexia nervosa; trauma; prevalence; comorbid; epigenetic
Some investigators have suggested subtyping bulimia nervosa (BN) by anorexia nervosa (AN) history. We examined trait-level and momentary eating-related and psychosocial factors in BN with and without an AN history.
Interview, questionnaire, and ecological momentary assessment data of eating-related and psychological symptoms were collected from 122 women with BN, including 43 with (BN+) and 79 without an AN history (BN−).
Body mass index (kg/m2) was lower in BN+ than BN− (p=.001). Groups did not differ on trait-level anxiety, shape/weight concerns, psychiatric comorbidity, or dietary restraint; or on momentary anxiety, dietary restriction, binge eating, purging, or exercise frequency, or affective patterns surrounding binge/purge behaviors. Negative affect increased prior to exercise and decreased thereafter in BN+ but not BN−, although groups did not statistically differ.
Results do not support formally subtyping BN by AN history. Exercise in BN+ may modulate negative affect, which could have important treatment implications.
eating disorders; bulimia nervosa; history of anorexia nervosa; subtyping; classification; exercise
Anorexia nervosa remains challenging to treat and difficult to prevent. Nearly 5% of affected individuals die of this disease and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa may be associated with several medical complications of varying severity, including dysfunction of the renal system. Though there are some reports of renal failure in patients with anorexia nervosa, few reports are available concerning patients who required maintenance dialysis. We report a case of a patient with long-term untreated anorexia nervosa-binge eating/purging type who started psychiatric treatment when in a life-threatening situation (renal failure requiring dialysis), with unsuccessful weight recovery while on dialysis and died of septicaemia. The mechanisms that seem to be involved in the development of end-stage renal disease in this patient and the challenges associated with her treatment are reviewed. Patients with anorexia nervosa should be carefully monitored to discover the subtle manifestations of early renal failure.
The pathophysiology of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa remains obscure, but structural brain alterations could be functionally important biomarkers. Here we assessed taste pleasantness and reward sensitivity in relation to brain structure, which might be related to food avoidance commonly seen in eating disorders.
We used structural magnetic resonance brain imaging to study gray and white matter volumes in individuals with restricting type currently ill (n = 19) or recovered-anorexia nervosa (n = 24), bulimia nervosa (n= 19) and healthy control women (n=24).
All eating disorder groups showed increased gray matter volume of the medial orbitofrontal cortex (gyrus rectus). Manually tracing confirmed larger gyrus rectus volume, and predicted taste pleasantness across all groups. The analyses also indicated other morphological differences between diagnostic categories: Ill and recovered-anorexia nervosa had increased right, while bulimia nervosa had increased left antero-ventral insula gray matter volumes compared to controls. Furthermore, dorsal striatum volumes were reduced in recovered-anorexia and bulimia nervosa, and predicted sensitivity to reward in the eating disorder groups. The eating disorder groups also showed reduced white matter in right temporal and parietal areas when compared to healthy controls. Notably, the results held when controlling for a range of covariates (e.g., age, depression, anxiety, medications).
Brain structure in medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula and striatum is altered in eating disorders and suggests altered brain circuitry that has been associated with taste pleasantness and reward value.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 23, a circulating 26-kDa peptide produced by osteogenic cells, is a novel phosphaturic factor. In our previous study, binge-eating/purging type anorexia nervosa (AN-BP) patients had elevated plasma intact FGF23 (iFGF23) levels, while restricting type (AN-R) patients had plasma iFGF23 levels similar to healthy controls. Although bulimia nervosa (BN) patients as well as some patients with AN-BP regularly engage in binge eating, there have been no studies regarding plasma iFGF23 levels in BN patients. Therefore, this study was performed to determine plasma iFGF23 concentrations in BN patients and healthy controls. The study population consisted of 13 female BN patients and 11 healthy female controls. Blood samples were collected from all subjects after overnight fasting. Plasma iFGF23 was measured using an ELISA kit in a cross-sectional manner. The two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test was used to assess differences between BN patients and healthy controls. In addition, BN patients were divided into two groups based on questionnaire-reported binge eating frequency immediately prior to participation in this study: high frequency of binge eating (once a week or more; HF group; n = 8) and low frequency of binge eating (less than once a week; LF group; n = 5). Two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test with Bonferroni's correction was performed after the Kruskal-Wallis test to assess differences between HF group, LF group, and healthy controls. Median (quartiles) plasma iFGF23 levels were greater in BN patients (35.5 [14.8-65.0] pg/ml) than in controls (3.8 [not detected-5.3] pg/ml; p = 0.002). In addition, median (quartiles) plasma iFGF23 levels were greater in the HF group (62.3 [44.4-73.4] pg/ml) than in controls (p < 0.001) and in the LF group (12.9 [not detected-30.3] pg/ml; p = 0.011), while there were no differences between the LF group and controls (p = 0.441). This is the first study to show that BN patients have elevated plasma iFGF23 levels. Moreover, this study showed that BN patients with a high frequency of binge eating have elevated plasma iFGF23 levels, while iFGF23 levels are similar to healthy controls in those with a low frequency of binge eating. Plasma iFGF23 level may be a suitable indicator of binge eating in BN patients.
fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23); intact fibroblast growth factor 23 (iFGF23); eating disorders; bulimia nervosa (BN); binge eating; frequency of binge eating; dietary phosphate; plasma phosphate; 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D)
Few of the limited randomized controlled trails (RCTs) for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) have explored the effects of moderators and mediators on outcome. This study aimed to identify treatment moderators and mediators of remission at end of treatment (EOT) and 6- and 12-month follow-up (FU) for adolescents with AN (N=121) who participated in a multi-center RCT of family-based treatment (FBT) and individual adolescent focused therapy (AFT). Mixed effects modeling were utilized and included all available outcome data at all time points. Remission was defined as ≥95% IBW plus within 1SD of the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) norms. Eating related obsessionality (Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorder Total Scale) and eating disorder specific psychopathology (EDE-Global) emerged as moderators at EOT. Subjects with higher baseline scores on these measures benefited more from FBT than AFT. AN type emerged as a moderator at FU with binge-eating/purging type responding less well than restricting type. No mediators of treatment outcome were identified. Prior hospitalization, older age and duration of illness were identified as non-specific predictors of outcome. Taken together, these results indicate that patients with more severe eating related psychopathology have better outcomes in a behaviorally targeted family treatment (FBT) than an individually focused approach (AFT).
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a highly life-threatening disorder that is extremely difficult to treat. There is evidence that family-based therapies are effective for adolescent AN, but no treatment has been proven to be clearly effective for adult AN. The methodological challenges associated with studying the disorder have resulted in recommendations that new treatments undergo preliminary testing prior to being evaluated in a randomized clinical trial. The aim of this study was to provide preliminary evidence on the effectiveness of a treatment program based on a novel adaptation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for adult Anorexia Nervosa (Radically Open-DBT; RO-DBT) that conceptualizes AN as a disorder of overcontrol.
Forty-seven individuals diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa-restrictive type (AN-R; mean admission body mass index = 14.43) received the adapted DBT inpatient program (mean length of treatment = 21.7 weeks).
Seventy-two percent completed the treatment program demonstrating substantial increases in body mass index (BMI; mean change in BMI = 3.57) corresponding to a large effect size (d = 1.91). Thirty-five percent of treatment completers were in full remission, and an additional 55% were in partial remission resulting in an overall response rate of 90%. These same individuals demonstrated significant and large improvements in eating-disorder related psychopathology symptoms (d = 1.17), eating disorder-related quality of life (d = 1.03), and reductions in psychological distress (d = 1.34).
RO-DBT was associated with significant improvements in weight gain, reductions in eating disorder symptoms, decreases in eating-disorder related psychopathology and increases in eating disorder-related quality of life in a severely underweight sample. These findings provide preliminary support for RO-DBT in treating AN-R suggesting the importance of further evaluation examining long-term outcomes using randomized controlled trial methodology.
Anorexia nervosa; DBT; Inpatient; Eating disorders; Overcontrol; Personality disorders; Radical openness
Previous studies have documented that weight suppression (a person’s highest adult weight minus current weight) predicts weight gain and disordered eating symptoms during treatment of bulimia spectrum disorders, but no research has examined weight suppression in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN). Thus, this study sought to characterize weight suppression in a large sample of patients with AN (N = 185), and to evaluate whether weight suppression at admission for intensive behavioral treatment predicts weight gain and clinical outcomes at discharge. Weight suppression varied from 0 kg to78 kg (M [SD] = 17.1 [10.8] kg) in AN patients. Higher levels of weight suppression predicted greater total weight gain, a faster rate of weight gain, and bulimic symptoms during intensive treatment even after controlling for body mass index on admission, length and type of intensive treatment received, restricting versus binge-eating/purging AN subtype, and other predictors of study outcomes. These findings converge with previous research documenting the clinical significance of weight suppression in the treatment of eating disorders. Future work is needed to replicate the current findings, and examine whether weight suppression predicts the course of AN following discharge from intensive treatment.
eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; weight gain; binge eating; purging; treatment
Acute gastric dilatation is a rare complication of anorexia nervosa binge/purge subtype that results from gastrointestinal abnormalities, including decreased gastric motility and delayed gastric emptying. Early diagnosis and intervention is critical since delay may result in gastric necrosis, perforation, shock, and death. We report a 26-year-old female with anorexia nervosa binge/purge subtype, who presented with abdominal pain and nausea after a binge episode. Abdominal radiography and computed tomography showed a grossly dilated stomach measuring 32 cm × 17.9 cm consistent with acute gastric dilatation. She underwent exploratory laparotomy with gastrotomy and gastric decompression, and recovered uneventfully. Initially, the patient denied the binge episode, as many patients with eating disorders do, but later revealed an extensive history of anorexia nervosa binge/purge subtype. This case stresses the importance of obtaining a thorough history of eating disorders and maintaining a high index of suspicion for acute gastric dilatation in young women who present with abdominal pain and distention.
Acute gastric dilatation; anorexia; binge/purge; denial; eating disorder; gastric dysmotility
Previous studies of prognostic factors of anorexia nervosa (AN) course and recovery have followed clinical populations after treatment discharge. This retrospective study examined the association between prognostic factors—eating disorder features, personality traits, and psychiatric comorbidity—and likelihood of recovery in a large sample of women with AN participating in a multi-site genetic study. The study included 680 women with AN. Recovery was defined as the offset of AN symptoms if the participant experienced at least one year without any eating disorder symptoms of low weight, dieting, binge eating, and inappropriate compensatory behaviors. Participants completed a structured interview about eating disorders features, psychiatric comorbidity, and self-report measures of personality. Survival analysis was applied to model time to recovery from AN. Cox regression models were used to fit associations between predictors and the probability of recovery. In the final model, likelihood of recovery was significantly predicted by the following prognostic factors: vomiting, impulsivity, and trait anxiety. Self-induced vomiting and greater trait anxiety were negative prognostic factors and predicted lower likelihood of recovery. Greater impulsivity was a positive prognostic factor and predicted greater likelihood of recovery. There was a significant interaction between impulsivity and time; the association between impulsivity and likelihood of recovery decreased as duration of AN increased. The anxiolytic function of some AN behaviors may impede recovery for individuals with greater trait anxiety.
Eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; recovery; prognostic factors; personality; comorbidity