In spite of the role of some psychosomatic factors as alexithymia, mood intolerance, and somatization in both pathogenesis and maintenance of anorexia nervosa (AN), few studies have investigated the prevalence of psychosomatic syndromes in AN. The aim of this study was to use the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) to assess psychosomatic syndromes in AN and to evaluate if psychosomatic syndromes could identify subgroups of AN patients.
108 AN inpatients (76 AN restricting subtype, AN-R, and 32 AN binge-purging subtype, AN-BP) were consecutively recruited and psychosomatic syndromes were diagnosed with the Structured Interview for DCPR. Participants were asked to complete psychometric tests: Body Shape Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, Eating Disorder Inventory–2, and Temperament and Character Inventory. Data were submitted to cluster analysis.
Illness denial (63%) and alexithymia (54.6%) resulted to be the most common syndromes in our sample. Cluster analysis identified three groups: moderate psychosomatic group (49%), somatization group (26%), and severe psychosomatic group (25%). The first group was mainly represented by AN-R patients reporting often only illness denial and alexithymia as DCPR syndromes. The second group showed more severe eating and depressive symptomatology and frequently DCPR syndromes of the somatization cluster. Thanatophobia DCPR syndrome was also represented in this group. The third group reported longer duration of illness and DCPR syndromes were highly represented; in particular, all patients were found to show the alexithymia DCPR syndrome.
These results highlight the need of a deep assessment of psychosomatic syndromes in AN. Psychosomatic syndromes correlated differently with both severity of eating symptomatology and duration of illness: therefore, DCPR could be effective to achieve tailored treatments.
Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorders; Psychosomatic syndromes; Illness denial; Alexithymia
The Z-drugs, zaleplon, zopiclone and zolpidem, are short-acting hypnotics which act at the same receptor as the benzodiazepines, but seemingly without the potential for misuse and the development of dependence of the older benzodiazepines. However, with increased prescribing of Z-drugs, reports of misuse and possible dependence began to appear in the literature, particularly in people with a history of substance misuse and comorbid psychiatric illness. Here we report the case of a woman with a history of chronic zopiclone use and anorexia nervosa, admitted for alcohol detoxification.
A 31-year old Caucasian British woman with a history of long-term zopiclone use and anorexia nervosa was admitted as an inpatient for a ten-day alcohol detoxification. Her weekly (four days out of seven) intake of alcohol was 180 units and her daily intake of zopiclone, 30 mg. Apart from a short period five years ago, she had been taking zopiclone for 13 years at daily doses of up to 90 mg. She admitted to using 'on top' of her prescribed medication, purchasing extra tablets from friends or receiving them gratis from her partner. After detoxification from alcohol and zopiclone, she was prescribed diazepam which she found ineffectual and voiced her intention of returning to zopiclone on leaving the hospital.
Zopiclone is generally regarded as safer than benzodiazepines, however, this particular individual, who was using high doses of zopiclone over many years, may provide further evidence of a risk of dependency when this drug is prescribed for substance users with a comorbid psychiatric illness.
There is a dearth of data regarding changes in dietary intake and physical activity over time that lead to inpatient medical treatment for anorexia nervosa (AN). Without such data, more effective nutritional therapies for patients cannot be devised. This study was undertaken to describe changes in diet and physical activity that precede inpatient medical hospitalization for AN in female adolescents. This data can be used to understand factors contributing to medical instability in AN, and may advance rodent models of AN to investigate novel weight restoration strategies. It was hypothesized that hospitalization for AN would be associated with progressive energy restriction and increased physical activity over time. 20 females, 11–19 years (14.3±1.8 years), with restricting type AN, completed retrospective, self-report questionnaires to assess dietary intake and physical activity over the 6 month period prior to inpatient admission (food frequency questionnaire, Pediatric physical activity recall) and 1 week prior (24 hour food recall, modifiable activity questionnaire). Physical activity increased acutely prior to inpatient admission without any change in energy or macronutrient intake. However, there were significant changes in reported micronutrient intake causing inadequate intake of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and pantothenic acid at 1 week versus high, potentially harmful, intake of Vitamin A over 6 months prior to admission. Subject report of significantly increased physical activity, not decreased energy intake, were associated with medical hospitalization for AN. Physical activity and Vitamin A and D intake should be carefully monitored following initial AN diagnosis, as markers of disease progression as to potentially minimize the risk of medical instability.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a biologically based serious mental disorder with high levels of mortality and disability, physical and psychological morbidity and impaired quality of life. AN is one of the leading causes of disease burden in terms of years of life lost through death or disability in young women. Psychotherapeutic interventions are the treatment of choice for AN, but the results of psychotherapy depend critically on the stage of the illness. The treatment response in adults with a chronic form of the illness is poor and drop-out from treatment is high. Despite the seriousness of the disorder the evidence-base for psychological treatment of adults with AN is extremely limited and there is no leading treatment. There is therefore an urgent need to develop more effective treatments for adults with AN. The aim of the Maudsley Outpatient Study of Treatments for Anorexia Nervosa and Related Conditions (MOSAIC) is to evaluate the efficacy and cost effectiveness of two outpatient treatments for adults with AN, Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) and the Maudsley Model of Treatment for Adults with Anorexia Nervosa (MANTRA).
138 patients meeting the inclusion criteria are randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups (MANTRA or SSCM). All participants receive 20 once-weekly individual therapy sessions (with 10 extra weekly sessions for those who are severely ill) and four follow-up sessions with monthly spacing thereafter. There is also optional access to a dietician and extra sessions involving a family member or a close other. Body weight, eating disorder- related symptoms, neurocognitive and psychosocial measures, and service use data are measured during the course of treatment and across a one year follow up period. The primary outcome measure is body mass index (BMI) taken at twelve months after randomization.
This multi-center study provides a large sample size, broad inclusion criteria and a follow-up period. However, the study has to contend with difficulties directly related to running a large multi-center randomized controlled trial and the psychopathology of AN. These issues are discussed.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN67720902 - A Maudsley outpatient study of treatments for anorexia nervosa and related conditions.
Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorder not otherwise specified; Outpatient treatment; Randomized controlled trial; Cost effectiveness
While anorexia nervosa is typically construed as an acute, dramatic disorder of younger women, long-term follow-up studies indicate that morbidity is chronic or relapsing in 30 percent to 50 percent of cases and sometimes leads to death. In older patients or those with atypical clinical features or obscure complications, chronic starvation may mimic other diseases, and rigid adherence to current diagnostic criteria may impede recognition and appropriate treatment. Anorexia nervosa should be viewed as a spectrum of disorders, with varying courses and presentations, in order that clinicians in nonpsychiatric settings may be equipped to provide adequate care of patients with this complex psychosomatic disease.
To examine assessment and treatment profiles of adolescent patients with anorexia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified who received olanzapine as compared with an untreated matched sample.
A retrospective, matched-groups comparison study was completed. Medical files of 86 female patients treated in the eating disorder program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario were examined. Patients treated with olanzapine were initially identified through chart review and then matched to a diagnosis, age, and, when possible, treatment group that served as the active comparator. Weight gain was examined in a sample of 22 inpatients.
Patients treated with olanzapine displayed greater evidence of psychopathology and medical compromise at the time of first assessment compared with those not treated. Rate of weight gain was not statistically different between groups when olanzapine was started during inpatient admissions. Medication effect on eating disorder cognitions could not be assessed given the presence of multiple confounders relating to treatment. Notable side effects included sedation and dyslipidemia in 56% of patients.
Despite our best attempts at matching olanzapine-treated subjects with a control sample, analysis revealed significant differences between groups, suggesting greater illness severity in those augmented with olanzapine. Given these inherent differences, we were unable to draw any firm conclusions regarding the potential efficacy of olanzapine. Factors associated with the prescription of adjunctive pharmacotherapy in this cohort appear to be linked to illness severity, acuity, and associated comorbidity. The observed side-effect profile indicates the need for more consistent predrug screening and for closer monitoring during treatment.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)23 is a novel phosphaturic factor associated with inorganic phosphate homeostasis. Previous human studies have shown that serum FGF23 levels increase in response to a high phosphate diet. For anorexia nervosa (AN) patients, inorganic phosphate homeostasis is important in the clinical course, such as in refeeding syndrome. The purpose of this study was to determine plasma levels of intact FGF23 (iFGF23) in restricting-type AN (AN-R) patients, binge-eating/purging-type AN (AN-BP) patients, and healthy controls.
The subjects consisted of 6 female AN-R patients, 6 female AN-BP patients, and 11 healthy female controls; both inpatients and outpatients were included. Plasma iFGF23, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels were measured. Data are presented as the median and the range. A two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test with Bonferroni correction was used to assess differences among the three groups, and a value of p < 0.017 was considered statistically significant.
There were no differences between AN-R patients and controls in the iFGF23 and 1,25-(OH)2D levels. In AN-BP patients, the iFGF23 level (41.3 pg/ml; range, 6.1–155.5 pg/ml) was significantly higher than in controls (3.8 pg/ml; range, not detected-21.3 pg/ml; p = 0.001), and the 1,25-(OH)2D was significantly lower in AN-BP patients (7.0 pg/ml; range, 4.2–33.7 pg/ml) than in controls (39.7 pg/ml; range, 6.3–58.5 pg/ml; p = 0.015). No differences in plasma 25-OHD levels were observed among the groups.
This preliminary study is the first to show that plasma iFGF23 levels are increased in AN-BP patients, and that these elevated plasma FGF23 levels might be related to the decrease in plasma 1,25-(OH)2D levels.
Restoration of weight and nutritional status are key elements in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). This review aims to describe issues related to the caloric requirements needed to gain and maintain weight for short and long-term recovery for AN inpatients and outpatients.
We reviewed the literature in PubMed pertaining to nutritional restoration in AN between 1960–2012. Based on this search, several themes emerged: 1. AN eating behavior; 2. Weight restoration in AN; 3. Role of exercise and metabolism in resistance to weight gain; 3. Medical consequences of weight restoration; 4. Rate of weight gain; 5. Weight maintenance; and 6. Nutrient intake.
A fair amount is known about overall caloric requirements for weight restoration and maintenance for AN. For example, starting at 30–40 kilocalories per kilogram per day (kcal/kg/day) with increases up to 70–100 kcal/kg/day can achieve a weight gain of 1–1.5 kg/week for inpatients. However, little is known about the effects of nutritional deficits on weight gain, or how to meet nutrient requirements for restoration of nutritional status.
This review seeks to draw attention to the need for the development of a foundation of basic nutritional knowledge about AN so that future treatment can be evidenced-based.
Anorexia nervosa; Treatment resistance; Nutritional rehabilitation; Refeeding; Weight restoration; Weight maintenance; Caloric requirements; Refeeding syndrome
Anorexia nervosa carries the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Even the most critically ill anorexic patients may present with normal 'standard' laboratory values, underscoring the need for a new sensitive biomarker. The complement cascade, a major component of innate immunity, represents a driving force in the pathophysiology of multiple inflammatory disorders. The role of complement in anorexia nervosa remains poorly understood. The present study was designed to evaluate the role of complement C3 levels, the extent of complement activation and of complement hemolytic activity in serum, as potential new biomarkers for the severity of anorexia nervosa.
Patients and methods
This was a prospective cohort study on 14 patients with severe anorexia nervosa, as defined by a body mass index (BMI) <14 kg/m2. Serum samples were obtained in a biweekly manner until hospital discharge. A total of 17 healthy subjects with normal BMI values served as controls. The serum levels of complement C3, C3a, C5a, sC5b-9, and of the 50% hemolytic complement activity (CH50) were quantified and correlated with the BMIs of patients and control subjects.
Serum C3 levels were significantly lower in patients with anorexia nervosa than in controls (median 3.7 (interquartile range (IQR) 2.5-4.9) vs 11.4 (IQR 8.9-13.7, P <0.001). In contrast, complement activation fragments and CH50 levels were not significantly different between the two groups. There was a strong correlation between index C3 levels and BMI (Spearman correlation coefficient = 0.71, P <0.001).
Complement C3 serum levels may represent a sensitive new biomarker for monitoring the severity of disease in anorexia nervosa. The finding from this preliminary pilot study will require further investigation in future prospective large-scale multicenter trials.
This case report details the therapeutic effects of tandospirone on two patients with anorexia nervosa, one with the restricting subtype (ANR), and another with the binge-eating/purging subtype (ANBP). A 22-year-old female patient with ANR and a 23-year-old female patient with ANBP were treated successfully with the 5-HT1A partial agonist tandospirone. After treatment, not only did both patients gain weight, they also showed improved scores on the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire. In addition, a 6-month follow-up showed maintenance of these effects. In this disorder, tandospirone may be an effective drug for long-term use with good patient compliance.
Anorexia nervosa; Pharmacotherapy; Treatment; Serotonin 1A receptor; Tandospirone
The resumption of menses is an important indicator of recovery in anorexia nervosa (AN). Patients with early-onset AN are at particularly great risk of suffering from the long-term physical and psychological consequences of persistent gonadal dysfunction. However, the clinical variables that predict the recovery of menstrual function during weight gain in AN remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of several clinical parameters on the resumption of menses in first-onset adolescent AN in a large, well-characterized, homogenous sample that was followed-up for 12 months.
A total of 172 female adolescent patients with first-onset AN according to DSM-IV criteria were recruited for inclusion in a randomized, multi-center, German clinical trial. Menstrual status and clinical variables (i.e., premorbid body mass index (BMI), age at onset, duration of illness, duration of hospital treatment, achievement of target weight at discharge, and BMI) were assessed at the time of admission to or discharge from hospital treatment and at a 12-month follow-up. Based on German reference data, we calculated the percentage of expected body weight (%EBW), BMI percentile, and BMI standard deviation score (BMI-SDS) for all time points to investigate the relationship between different weight measurements and resumption of menses.
Forty-seven percent of the patients spontaneously began menstruating during the follow-up period. %EBW at the 12-month follow-up was strongly correlated with the resumption of menses. The absence of menarche before admission, a higher premorbid BMI, discharge below target weight, and a longer duration of hospital treatment were the most relevant prognostic factors for continued amenorrhea.
The recovery of menstrual function in adolescent patients with AN should be a major treatment goal to prevent severe long-term physical and psychological sequelae. Patients with premenarchal onset of AN are at particular risk for protracted amenorrhea despite weight rehabilitation. Reaching and maintaining a target weight between the 15th and 20th BMI percentile is favorable for the resumption of menses within 12 months. Whether patients with a higher premorbid BMI may benefit from a higher target weight needs to be investigated in further studies.
Resumption of menses; Adolescence anorexia nervosa; Target weight; Menstrual recovery; Outcome; Body mass index; Menarche; Amenorrhea
Gastric emptying was measured using a gamma camera in 22 patients with anorexia nervosa, in 10 patients of normal or high weight with bulimia nervosa and in 10 controls. Patients with anorexia nervosa were tested (1) while underweight and selecting their own diet (10 patients); (2) underweight, but receiving an adequate diet on an inpatient unit (refeeding diet) (12 patients); and (3) under refeeding diet conditions after weight gain (eight patients). Three meals, each labelled with technetium 99m-sulphur colloid, 3.7 MBq were used: (1) a mixed solid meal containing labelled poached egg; (2) 200 ml d-glucose solution, 0.5 kcal/ml, and (3) 200 ml physiological saline. Only gastric emptying rates of the solid meal and glucose solution were significantly delayed. Gastric emptying of saline was normal. The gastric disturbance was confined to patients with anorexia nervosa selecting their own diet. Patients receiving adequate nutrition on the ward had normal gastric emptying and weight gain in this group had no significant effect on emptying. Slow emptying was observed in patients who maintained a low weight solely by food restriction as well as in patients whose anorexia nervosa was complicated by episodes of bulimia. Thus, slow gastric emptying occurred when the quantity of food reaching the duodenum was sufficiently reduced to result in severe weight loss. Moreover, abnormal gastric emptying was seen only after the two meals that contained calories and were hypertonic to plasma, either of which properties could mediate the disturbance. Gastric emptying in bulimia nervosa was normal. Slow gastric emptying could exacerbate undereating in starving patients with anorexia nervosa by enhancing satiety.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious illness with a high mortality rate, a poor outcome, and no empirically supported treatment of choice for adults. Patients with anorexia nervosa strive for thinness in order to obtain self-control and are ambivalent toward change and toward treatment. In order to achieve a greater understanding of patients’ own understanding of their situation, the aim of this study was to examine the expectations of potential anorexic patients seeking treatment at a specialized eating-disorder unit.
A qualitative study design was used. It comprised 15 women between 18 and 25 years of age waiting to be assessed before treatment. The initial question was, “What do you expect, now that you are on the waiting list for a specialized eating-disorder unit?” A content analysis was used, and the text was coded, categorized according to its content, and further interpreted into a theme.
From the results emerged three main categories of what participants expected: “treatment content,” “treatment professionals,” and “treatment focus.” The overall theme, “receiving adequate therapy in a collaborative therapeutic relationship and recovering,” described how the participants perceived that their expectations could be fulfilled.
Patients’ expectations concerning distorted thoughts, eating behaviors, a normal, healthy life, and meeting with a professional with knowledge and experience of eating disorders should be discussed before treatment starts. In the process of the therapeutic relationship, it is essential to continually address patients’ motivations, in order to understand their personal motives behind what drives their expectations and their desire to recover.
anorexia nervosa; expectations; treatment; qualitative research
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
Growth retardation is an established complication of anorexia nervosa (AN). However, findings concerning final height of AN patients are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to assess these phenomena in female adolescent inpatients with AN.
We retrospectively studied all 211 female adolescent AN patients hospitalized in an inpatient eating disorders department from 1/1/1987 to 31/12/99. Height and weight were assessed at admission and thereafter routinely during hospitalization and follow-up. Final height was measured in 69 patients 2–10 years after discharge. Pre-morbid height data was available in 29 patients.
Patients’ height standard deviation scores (SDS) on admission (−0.285±1.0) and discharge (−0.271±1.02) were significantly (p<0.001) lower than expected in normal adolescents. Patients admitted at age ≤13 years, or less than 1 year after menarche, were more severely growth-impaired than patients admitted at an older age, (p = 0.03). Final height SDS, available for 69 patients, was −0.258±1.04, significantly lower than expected in a normal population (p = 0.04), and was more severely compromised in patients who were admitted less than 1 year from their menarche. In a subgroup of 29 patients with complete growth data (pre-morbid, admission, discharge, and final adult height), the pre-morbid height SDS was not significantly different from the expected (−0.11±1.1), whereas heights at the other time points were significantly (p = 0.001) lower (−0.56±1.2, −0.52±1.2, and −0.6±1.2, respectively).
Our findings suggest that whereas the premorbid height of female adolescent AN patients is normal, linear growth retardation is a prominent feature of their illness. Weight restoration is associated with catch-up growth, but complete catch-up is often not achieved.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mutant mice show hyperphagia and hyperleptinemia. Animal and cell-culture experiments suggest multiple interrelations between BDNF and the serotonin (5-HT) system. We studied serum BDNF in patients with anorexia nervosa and its associations with peripheral indicators of the 5-HT system. To control for secondary effects of acute malnutrition, we assessed acutely underweight patients with anorexia nervosa (acAN) in comparison to long-term weight-recovered patients with the disorder (recAN) and healthy controls.
We determined serum BDNF, platelet 5-HT content and platelet 5-HT uptake in 33 patients in the acAN group, 20 patients in the recAN group and 33 controls. Plasma leptin served as an indicator of malnutrition.
Patients in the acAN group were aged 14–29 years and had a mean body mass index (BMI) of 14.9 (standard deviation [SD] 1.4) kg/m2. Those in the recAN group were aged 15–29 years and had a mean BMI of 20.5 (SD 1.3) kg/m2 and the controls were aged 15–26 years and had a BMI of 21.4 (SD 2.1) kg/m2. The mean serum BDNF levels were significantly increased in the recAN group compared with the acAN group (8820, SD 3074 v. 6161, SD 2885 pg/mL, U = 154.5, p = 0.001). There were no significant associations between BDNF and either platelet 5-HT content or platelet 5-HT uptake. Among patients with anorexia nervosa, we found significant positive linear relations between BDNF and BMI (r = 0.312, p = 0.023) and between BDNF and leptin (r = 0.365, p = 0.016).
We measured the signal proteins under study in peripheral blood.
Serum BDNF levels in patients with anorexia nervosa depend on the state of illness and the degree of hypoleptinemia. Upregulation of BDNF in weight-recovered patients with anorexia nervosa could be part of a regenerative process after biochemical and molecular neuronal injury due to prolonged malnutrition. Associations between the BDNF and the 5-HT system in humans remain to be established.
Anorexia nervosa is difficult to treat and no treatment is supported by robust evidence. As it is uncommon, it has been recommended that new treatments should undergo extensive preliminary testing before being evaluated in randomized controlled trials. The aim of the present study was to establish the immediate and longer-term outcome following “enhanced” cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT-E). Ninety-nine adult patients with marked anorexia nervosa (body mass index ≤ 17.5) were recruited from consecutive referrals to clinics in the UK and Italy. Each was offered 40 sessions of CBT-E over 40 weeks with no concurrent treatment. Sixty-four percent of the patients were able to complete this outpatient treatment and in these patients there was a substantial increase in weight (7.47 kg, SD 4.93) and BMI (2.77, SD 1.81). Eating disorder features also improved markedly. Over the 60-week follow-up period there was little deterioration despite minimal additional treatment. These findings provide strong preliminary support for this use of CBT-E and justify its further evaluation in randomized controlled trials. As CBT-E has already been established as a treatment for bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified, the findings also confirm that CBT-E is transdiagnostic in its scope.
Anorexia nervosa; Treatment; Cognitive behaviour therapy; Eating disorder
The prevention of serious physical complications in anorexia nervosa (AN) patients is important. The purpose of this study is to clarify which physical and social factors are related to the necessity for urgent hospitalization of anorexia nervosa (AN) patients in a long-term starvation state. We hypothesized that the change of longitudinal BMI, body composition and social background would be useful as an index of the necessity for urgent hospitalization.
AN patients were classified into; urgent hospitalization, due to disturbance of consciousness or difficulty walking(n = 17); planned admission (n = 96); and outpatient treatment only groups (n = 136). The longitudinal BMI pattern and the clinical features of these groups were examined. In the hospitalization groups, comparison was done of body composition variation and the social background, including the educational level and advice from family members.
After adjusting for age and duration of illness, the BMI of the urgent hospitalization group was lower than that of the other groups at one year before hospitalization (P < 0.01) and decreased more rapidly (P < 0.01). Urgent hospitalization was associated with the fat free mass (FFM) (P < 0.01). Between the groups, no considerable difference in social factors was found.
The longitudinal pattern of BMI and FFM may be useful for understanding the severity in AN from the viewpoint of failure of the homeostasis system.
To use a Progressive Ratio (PR) computerized “work” paradigm to measure course and correlates of exercise motivation in inpatients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN).
Sixteen inpatients with AN participated in a PR task assessing the relative reinforcing effect of 2 different increments of cash versus the opportunity to exercise for up to 30 minutes, twice; at low weight, and, for n=10 participants, after weight restoration.
There was a trend toward a higher work for exercise with $2 versus $5 increments of cash as the alternative reinforcer. Exercise breakpoint did not differ between low and normal-weight states. Exercise breakpoint at each time point was correlated with pre-hospitalization exercise “commitment” (Commitment to Exercise Scale, r=0.613, p=0.012 at T1; r=0.634, p=0.049 at T2).
Patients with AN will work at a PR task for access to even a small amount of exercise. Exercise motivation during hospitalization is correlated with pre-hospital exercise commitment, and does not appear to change consistently with weight restoration.
Anorexia nervosa exhibits one of the highest death rates among psychiatric patients and a relevant fraction of it is derived from undernutrition. Nutritional and medical treatment of extreme undernutrition present two very complex and conflicting tasks: (1) to avoid “refeeding syndrome” caused by a too fast correction of malnutrition; and (2) to avoid “underfeeding” caused by a too cautious refeeding. To obtain optimal treatment results, the caloric intake should be planned starting with indirect calorimetry measurements and electrolyte abnormalities accurately controlled and treated. This article reports the case of an anorexia nervosa young female affected by extreme undernutrition (BMI 9.6 kg/m2) who doubled her admission body weight (from 22.5 kg to 44 kg) in a reasonable time with the use of enteral tube feeding for gradual correction of undernutrition. Refeeding syndrome was avoided through a specialized and flexible program according to clinical, laboratory, and physiological findings.
extreme undernutrition; anorexia nervosa; hypophosphatemia; refeeding syndrome
Despite a number of studies in the past decades, the role of Cholecystokinin (CCK) in anorexia nervosa (AN) has remained uncertain. In this study a highly specific assay for the biologically active part of CCK was used in patients with bulimic as well as with the restricting type of AN who were followed over the course of weight gain.
Ten patients with restricting and 13 with bulimic AN were investigated upon admission (T0), after a weight gain of at least 2 kg on two consecutive weighting dates (T1), and during the last week before discharge (T2) from inpatient treatment in a specialized clinic. Blood samples were drawn under fasting conditions and 20 and 60 minutes following a standard meal (250 kcal). Data were compared to those of eight controls matched for sex and age. Gastrointestinal complaints of patients were measured by a questionnaire at each of the follow-up time points.
At admission, AN patients exhibited CCK-levels similar to controls both prior to and after a test meal. Pre and post-meal CCK levels increased significantly after an initial weight gain but decreased again with further weight improvement. CCK release was somewhat lower in bulimic than in restricting type AN but both subgroups showed a similar profile. There was no significant association of CCK release to either initial weight or BMI, or their changes, but CCK levels at admission predicted gastrointestinal symptom improvement during therapy.
Normal CCK profiles in AN at admission indicates hormonal responses adapted to low food intake while change of eating habits and weight gain results in initially increased CCK release (counteracting the attempts to alter eating behavior) that returns towards normal levels with continuous therapy.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is associated with high rates of chronicity and relapse risk is a considerable therapeutic challenge in the disorder. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of stages of change and outcome with a focus on the relapse struggle in the maintenance stage in patients with predominantly chronic AN. Further, therapeutic alliance and stages of change associations were explored.
As an instrument measuring relapse struggle in the maintenance stage, we applied the short form of the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment-Short (URICA-S). We assessed stages of change in 39 patients with a predominantly chronic course of AN in early, middle, and late stages of inpatient psychotherapy. General symptom severity as assessed by the SCL-90-R and weight change were investigated as outcome measures.
In-line with earlier evidence, contemplation significantly predicted therapeutic alliance. Further, we demonstrated that relapse risk as operationalized by URICA-S maintenance is an important predictor of general psychopathology. BMI change was not predicted by stages of change.
The URICA-S maintenance scale might be applied to help identify patients at relapse risk. High URICA-S maintenance scores could be considered as one critical aspect of AN patients who might especially benefit from relapse-preventing aftercare programs.
Alliance; Anorexia nervosa; Chronic; Eating disorder; Inpatient; Motivation; Therapy; Stages of change; Transtheoretical model
Very few studies have investigated the relationship between malnutrition and psychological symptoms in Anorexia Nervosa (AN). They have used only body weight or body mass index (BMI) for the nutritional assessment and did not always report on medication, or if they did, it was not included in the analysis of results, and they did not include confounding factors such as duration of illness, AN subtype or age. The present study investigates this relationship using indicators other than BMI/weight, among which body composition and biological markers, also considering potential confounders related to depression and anxiety.
155 AN patients, (DSM-IV) were included consecutively upon admission to inpatient treatment. Depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviours and social functioning were measured using various scales. Nutritional status was measured using BMI, severity of weight loss, body composition, and albumin and prealbumin levels.
No correlation was found between BMI at inclusion, fat-free mass index, fat mass index, and severity of weight loss and any of the psychometric scores. Age and medication are the only factors that affect the psychological scores. None of the psychological scores were explained by the nutritional indicators with the exception of albumin levels which was negatively linked to the LSAS fear score (p = 0.024; beta = −0.225). Only the use of antidepressants explained the variability in BDI scores (p = 0.029; beta = 0.228) and anxiolytic use explained the variability in HADs depression scores (p = 0.037; beta = 0.216).
The present study is a pioneer investigation of various nutritional markers in relation to psychological symptoms in severely malnourished AN patients. The clinical hypothesis that malnutrition partly causes depression and anxiety symptoms in AN in acute phase is not confirmed, and future studies are needed to back up our results.
Anorexia nervosa has been considered rare or nonexistent among blacks. A report of the presentation and clinical course of this disorder in two black female adolescents illustrates a serious medical psychiatric problem that may be increasingly detected among predisposed teenagers of the black middle and professional classes. Unrecognized and incorrectly treated, the disease may run a fatal course in 20 percent of the cases. Differential diagnosis, etiology, and treatment of the condition are reviewed.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among adolescent females and young women. AN is associated with severe medical and psychological consequences, including death, osteoporosis, growth delay, and developmental delay. Skin signs are almost always detectable in severe AN and awareness of them may help in the early diagnosis of hidden AN. Skin signs are the expression of the medical consequences of starvation, vomiting, abuse of drugs, such as laxatives and diuretics, and of the psychiatric morbidity. They include xerosis, lanugo-like body hair, telogen effluvium, carotenoderma, acne, hyperpigmentation, seborrhoeic dermatitis, acrocyanosis, perniosis, petechiae, livedo reticularis, interdigital intertrigo, paronychia, acquired striae distensae, acral coldness.
The most characteristic cutaneous sign of vomiting is Russell’s sign (knuckle calluses). Symptoms due to laxative or diuretic abuse include adverse reactions by drugs. Symptoms due to psychiatric morbidity (artefacta) include the consequences of self-induced trauma. The role of the dermatologist in the management of eating disorders is to make an early diagnosis of the “hidden” signs of eating disorders in patients who tend to minimize or deny their disorder.
eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; skin