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1.  Cognitive behaviour therapy response and dropout rate across purging and nonpurging bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder: DSM-5 implications 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:285.
Background
With the imminent publication of the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there has been a growing interest in the study of the boundaries across the three bulimic spectrum syndromes [bulimia nervosa-purging type (BN-P), bulimia nervosa-non purging type (BN-NP) and binge eating disorder (BED)]. Therefore, the aims of this study were to determine differences in treatment response and dropout rates following Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) across the three bulimic-spectrum syndromes.
Method
The sample comprised of 454 females (87 BED, 327 BN-P and 40 BN-NP) diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR criteria who were treated with 22 weekly outpatient sessions of group CBT therapy. Patients were assessed before and after treatment using a food and binging/purging diary and some clinical questionnaires in the field of ED. “Full remission” was defined as total absence of binging and purging (laxatives and/or vomiting) behaviors and psychological improvement for at least 4 (consecutive).
Results
Full remission rate was found to be significantly higher in BED (69.5%) than in both BN-P (p < 0.005) and BN-NP (p < 0.001), which presented no significant differences between them (30.9% and 35.5%). The rate of dropout from group CBT was also higher in BED (33.7%) than in BN-P (p < 0.001) and BN-NP (p < 0.05), which were similar (15.4% and 12.8%, respectively).
Conclusions
Results suggest that purging and non-purging BN have similar treatment response and dropping out rates, whereas BED appears as a separate diagnosis with better outcome for those who complete treatment. The results support the proposed new DSM-5 classification
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-285
PMCID: PMC4226246  PMID: 24200085
Binge eating disorder (BED); Bulimia nervosa (BN); Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT); Classification; DSM-5
2.  Anorexia nervosa 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1011.
Introduction
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by a low body mass index (BMI), fear of gaining weight, denial of current low weight and its impact on health, and amenorrhoea. Estimated prevalence is highest in teenage girls, and up to 0.7% of this age group may be affected. While most people with anorexia nervosa recover completely or partially, about 5% die of the condition, and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder. Young women with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of bone fractures later in life.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review, and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments in anorexia nervosa? What are the effects of interventions to prevent or treat complications of anorexia nervosa? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to April 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 40 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: atypical antipsychotic drugs, benzodiazepines, cyproheptadine, inpatient/outpatient treatment setting, oestrogen treatment (HRT or oral contraceptives), older-generation antipsychotic drugs, psychotherapy, refeeding, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants.
Key Points
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by a low body mass index (BMI), fear of gaining weight, denial of current low weight and its impact on health, and amenorrhoea. Estimated prevalence is highest in teenage girls, and the condition may affect up to 0.7% of this group.Anorexia nervosa is related to family, sociocultural, genetic, and other biological factors. Psychiatric and personality disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and perfectionism are commonly found in people who have anorexia nervosa.Most people with anorexia nervosa recover completely or partially, but about 5% die from the condition and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder.Young women with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of fractures later in life.Population assessment indicates that risks to fertility may be overstated in those who reach a healthy BMI, but children born to mothers who have recovered from anorexia nervosa seem to have lower birth weights.
There is no strong RCT evidence that any treatments work well for anorexia nervosa. However, there is a gradual accumulation of evidence suggesting that early intervention is effective. Increasing evidence suggests that working with the family may also interrupt the development of a persistent form of the illness, when this work begins early in the disease.
Evidence on the benefits of psychotherapy is unclear.
Refeeding is a necessary and effective component of treatment, but is not sufficient alone. Very limited evidence from a quasi-experimental study suggests that a lenient approach to refeeding is as effective and more acceptable compared with a more strict approach.Refeeding may be as effective in an outpatient setting as during hospital admission.Nasogastric refeeding has been used to speed up weight gain in inpatient observational studies, although it is rarely studied in RCTs. Very limited RCT evidence suggests that adding nasogastric feeding to oral nutrition can increase weight gain and reduce relapse in the short term more than oral nutrition alone, but these gains are not maintained at 1 year post-discharge. Given ethical and medical concerns with tube feeding, this approach is encouraged with caution.Nutritional supplements, including zinc, have only limited evidence for their effectiveness, and additional evaluations of these measures are warranted.
We don't know whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is more effective in people with anorexia nervosa.
Limited evidence from small RCTs has not shown significant weight gain from SSRIs or tricyclic antidepressants, some of which may cause serious adverse effects. Tricyclic antidepressants may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and a prolonged QT interval in people who have anorexia nervosa. SSRIs have not been shown to be beneficial, but the evidence remains very limited; in the 4 RCTs we found, conclusions were limited because of small trial size and high rates of withdrawal.
Older-generation antipsychotic drugs may prolong the QT interval, increasing the risk of ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, and sudden death. Atypical antipsychotics have been evaluated for their potential role in reducing agitation and anxiety related to refeeding, as well as for potentially increasing appetite. Increasing observational data (case series) have suggested that they may decrease obsessiveness and agitation. However, further evidence from large, well-conducted RCTs is necessary to draw reliable conclusions. Newer atypical antipsychotics, in particular olanzapine, do not seem to be associated with the same cardiac risks as older-generation antipsychotic drugs, but the known association between olanzapine and weight gain may impact compliance in people with anorexia nervosa. However, further research needs to be done.
We found insufficient RCT evidence assessing benzodiazepines or cyproheptadine for treating anorexia nervosa.
Oestrogen treatment has been hypothesised to reduce the negative effects on bone mineral density associated with anorexia nervosa. However, three small RCTs have failed to demonstrate clinically relevant changes in bone mineral density after treatment with oestrogen either HRT or oral contraceptives), and these results are supported by 2-year longitudinal data, which found similar lack of improvement.
PMCID: PMC3275304  PMID: 21481284
3.  Anorexia nervosa 
Clinical Evidence  2009;2009:1011.
Introduction
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by a low body mass index (BMI), fear of gaining weight, denial of current low weight and its impact on health, and amenorrhoea. Estimated prevalence is highest in teenage girls, and up to 0.7% of this age group may be affected. While most people with anorexia nervosa recover completely or partially, about 5% die of the condition, and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder. Young women with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of bone fractures later in life.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review which aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for anorexia nervosa? What are the effects of interventions to prevent or treat complications of anorexia nervosa? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to August 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 40 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: anxiolytic drugs, cyproheptadine, inpatient/outpatient treatment setting, oestrogen treatment, psychotherapy, refeeding, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants.
Key Points
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by a low BMI, fear of gaining weight, denial of current low weight and its impact on health, and amenorrhoea. Estimated prevalence is highest in teenage girls, and may affect up to 0.7% of this group.Anorexia nervosa is related to family, sociocultural, genetic, and other biological factors. Psychiatric and personality disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and perfectionism, are commonly found in people who have anorexia nervosa.Most people with anorexia nervosa recover completely or partially, but about 5% die from the condition and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder.Young women with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of fractures later in life.
There is no strong research evidence that any treatments work well for anorexia nervosa. However, there is a gradual accumulation of evidence which suggests that early intervention is effective. Working with the family may also interrupt the development of a persistent form of the illness.
Evidence on the benefits of psychotherapy is unclear.
Refeeding is a necessary and effective component of treatment, but is not sufficient alone. Very limited evidence from a quasi-experimental study suggests that a lenient approach to refeeding is as effective and more acceptable compared with a more strict approach.Refeeding may be as effective in an outpatient setting as during hospital admission.Nasogastric feeding is rarely required and can lead to problems due to hypophosphataemia.Nutritional supplements, including zinc, have only limited evidence for their effectiveness, and additional evaluation of these measures are warranted.
Limited evidence from small RCTs has not shown significant weight gain from SSRIs or tricyclic antidepressants, some of which may cause serious adverse effects. Tricyclic antidepressants may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and a prolonged QT interval in people who have anorexia nervosa. SSRIs have not been shown to be beneficial, but the evidence remains very limited; in the four RCTs we found, conclusions were limited due to small trial size and high withdrawal rates.
Anxiolytic drugs (mainly older generation antipsychotic drugs) may prolong the QT interval, increasing the risk of ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, and sudden death. Atypical antipsychotics have been evaluated for their potential role in reducing agitation and anxiety related to refeeding, as well as for potentially increasing appetite. Weak observational evidence has suggested that they may decrease obsessiveness and agitation. However, we found no RCTs of sufficient quality on the effects of atypical antipsychotics, and further evidence from large, well-conducted RCTs is necessary to draw reliable conclusions. Some atypical antipsychotics do not appear to be associated with the same cardiac risks as older-generation antipsychotic drugs. However, further research needs to be done.
We found insufficient evidence assessing cyproheptadine for treating anorexia nervosa.
Oestrogen treatment has been hypothesized to reduce the negative effects on bone mineral density associated with anorexia nervosa. However, three small RCTs have failed to demonstrate significant changes in bone mineral density after treatment with oestrogen.
PMCID: PMC2907776  PMID: 19445758
4.  Weight Suppression as a Predictor of Weight Gain and Response to Intensive Behavioral Treatment in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa 
Behaviour Research and Therapy  2012;50(4):266-274.
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.
doi:10.1016/j.brat.2012.02.006
PMCID: PMC3307827  PMID: 22398152
eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; weight gain; binge eating; purging; treatment
5.  Cholecystokinin Revisited: CCK and the Hunger Trap in Anorexia Nervosa 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54457.
Objective
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054457
PMCID: PMC3547916  PMID: 23349895
6.  Examining a Psychosocial Interactive Model of Binge Eating and Vomiting in Women with Bulimia Nervosa and Subthreshold Bulimia Nervosa 
Behaviour research and therapy  2008;46(7):887-894.
The current study tested a psychosocial interactive model of perfectionism, self-efficacy, and weight/shape concern within a sample of women with clinically significant bulimic symptoms, examining how different dimensions of perfectionism operated in the model. Individuals with bulimia nervosa (full diagnostic criteria or subthreshold) completed measures of bulimic symptoms, multidimensional perfectionism, self-efficacy, and weight/shape concern. Among those who were actively binge eating (n = 180), weight/shape concern was associated with binge eating frequency in the context of high perfectionism (either maladaptive or adaptive) and low self-efficacy. Among those who were actively vomiting (n = 169), weight/shape concern was associated with vomiting frequency only in the context of high adaptive perfectionism and low self-efficacy. These findings provide support for the value of this psychosocial interactive model among actively binge eating and purging samples and for the importance of considering different dimensions of perfectionism in research and treatment related to bulimia nervosa.
doi:10.1016/j.brat.2008.04.003
PMCID: PMC2515388  PMID: 18501334
Perfectionism; Self-efficacy; Body dissatisfaction; Binge eating; Vomiting
7.  The MOSAIC study - comparison of the Maudsley Model of Treatment for Adults with Anorexia Nervosa (MANTRA) with Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) in outpatients with anorexia nervosa or eating disorder not otherwise specified, anorexia nervosa type: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:160.
Background
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).
Methods/Design
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.
Discussion
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.
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN67720902 - A Maudsley outpatient study of treatments for anorexia nervosa and related conditions.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-160
PMCID: PMC3679869  PMID: 23721562
Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorder not otherwise specified; Outpatient treatment; Randomized controlled trial; Cost effectiveness
8.  Personality Dimensions in Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Obesity 
Comprehensive psychiatry  2009;51(1):31-36.
Objective
The purpose of this investigation was to examine differences in personality dimensions among individuals with bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, non-binge eating obesity and a normal weight comparison group as well as to determine the extent to which these differences were independent of self-reported depressive symptoms.
Method
Personality dimensions were assessed using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire in 36 patients with bulimia nervosa, 54 patients with binge eating disorder, 30 obese individuals who did not binge eat, and 77 normal weight comparison participants.
Results
Participants with bulimia nervosa reported higher scores on measures of stress reaction and negative emotionality compared to the other three groups, and lower well-being scores compared to the normal weight comparison and the obese samples. Patients with binge eating disorder scored lower on well-being and higher on harm avoidance than the normal weight comparison group. In addition, the bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder groups scored lower than the normal weight group on positive emotionality. When personality dimensions were re-analyzed using depression as a covariate, only stress reaction remained higher in the bulimia nervosa group compared to the other three groups and harm avoidance remained higher in the binge eating disorder than the normal weight comparison group.
Conclusions
The higher levels of stress reaction in the bulimia nervosa sample and harm avoidance in the binge eating disorder sample after controlling for depression indicate that these personality dimensions are potentially important in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of these eating disorders. Although the extent to which observed group differences in well-being, positive emotionality and negative emotionality reflect personality traits, mood disorders, or both is unclear, these features clearly warrant further examination in understanding and treating bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.03.003
PMCID: PMC2838502  PMID: 19932823
9.  Bulimia nervosa 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:1009.
Introduction
Up to 1% of young women may have bulimia nervosa, characterised by an intense preoccupation with body weight, uncontrolled binge-eating episodes, and use of extreme measures to counteract the feared effects of overeating. People with bulimia nervosa may be of normal weight, making it difficult to diagnose. After 10 years, about half of people with bulimia nervosa will have recovered fully, one third will have made a partial recovery, and 10% to 20% will still have symptoms.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for bulimia nervosa in adults? What are the effects of discontinuing treatment in people with bulimia nervosa in remission? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to January 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 27 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT; alone or plus exposure/response prevention enhancement), cognitive orientation therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, discontinuing fluoxetine in people with remission, guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnobehavioural therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, mirtazapine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), motivational enhancement therapy, pharmacotherapy plus psychotherapy, pure or unguided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy, reboxetine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), topiramate, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and venlafaxine.
Key Points
Up to 1% of young women may have bulimia nervosa, characterised by an intense preoccupation with body weight, uncontrolled binge-eating episodes, and use of extreme measures to counteract the feared effects of overeating. People with bulimia nervosa may be of normal weight, making it difficult to diagnose.Obesity has been associated with both an increased risk of bulimia nervosa and a worse prognosis, as have personality disorders and substance misuse.After 10 years, about half of people with bulimia nervosa will have recovered fully, one third will have made a partial recovery, and 10% to 20% will still have symptoms.
Cognitive behavioural therapy for bulimia nervosa (CBT-BN) may improve clinical problems of bulimia nervosa compared with no treatment, and may be as effective in reducing symptoms as interpersonal psychotherapy at 1 year, or as other psychological treatments, or antidepressants. However, we found no RCTs meeting eligibility criteria comparing the efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy with waiting list control. We don't know whether other psychological therapies such as cognitive orientation therapy, hypnobehavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, or motivational enhancement therapy are more effective than a waiting list control at improving symptoms, as we found only a few trials. We found insufficient evidence to support enhancing CBT-BN with exposure and response prevention (ERP). Pure or unguided self-help CBT is likely to be no more effective than waiting list control at reducing binge eating. The evidence we found for guided self-help CBT is insufficient to judge this intervention because of high attrition in trials.
Some antidepressant drugs (fluoxetine, citalopram, desipramine, and imipramine) may improve symptoms in people with bulimia nervosa compared with placebo. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may increase remission rates compared with placebo, but may not reduce bulimic symptoms or depression scores.We don't know whether other antidepressants (topiramate, mirtazapine, reboxetine, or venlafaxine) can improve symptoms or remission in people with bulimia nervosa.
We don't know whether continuation of antidepressant treatment may maintain a reduction in vomiting frequency compared with withdrawing treatment in people in remission.
We don't know if combining pharmacotherapy with psychotherapy enhances outcome. Trials that have suggested combinations may enhance outcomes have been limited in power.
PMCID: PMC3275326  PMID: 21418667
10.  Bulimia nervosa 
Clinical Evidence  2008;2008:1009.
Introduction
Up to 1% of young women may have bulimia nervosa, characterised by an intense preoccupation with body weight, uncontrolled binge-eating episodes, and use of extreme measures to counteract the feared effects of overeating. People with bulimia nervosa may be of normal weight, making it difficult to diagnose. After ten years, about half of people with bulimia nervosa will have recovered fully, a third will have made a partial recovery, and 10-20% will still have symptoms.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for bulimia nervosa in adults? What are the effects of discontinuing treatment in people with bulimia nervosa in remission? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to June 2007 (BMJ Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 26 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: cognitive behavioural therapy (alone or plus exposure response prevention enhancement); cognitive orientation therapy; dialectical behavioural therapy; discontinuing fluoxetine in people with remission; guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy; hypnobehavioural therapy; interpersonal psychotherapy; mirtazapine; monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs); motivational enhancement therapy; pharmacotherapy plus psychotherapy; pure or unguided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); reboxetine; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); topiramate; tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs); and venlafaxine.
Key Points
Up to 1% of young women may have bulimia nervosa, characterised by an intense preoccupation with body weight, uncontrolled binge-eating episodes, and use of extreme measures to counteract the feared effects of overeating. People with bulimia nervosa may be of normal weight, making it difficult to diagnose.Obesity has been associated with both an increased risk of bulimia nervosa and a worse prognosis, as have personality disorders and substance misuse.After ten years, about half of people with bulimia nervosa will have recovered fully, a third will have made a partial recovery, and 10-20% will still have symptoms.
CBT may improve clinical problems of bulimia nervosa compared with no treatment, and may be as effective in reducing symptoms as interpersonal psychotherapy, other psychological treatments, or antidepressants. We don't know whether other psychological therapies such as cognitive orientation therapy, hypnobehavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, or motivational enhancement therapy are more effective than a waiting list control in improving symptoms, as only a few studies have been found.
Some antidepressant drugs (fluoxetine, citalopram, desipramine, and imipramine) may improve symptoms in people with bulimia nervosa compared with placebo. MAOIs may increase remission rates compared with placebo, but may not reduce bulimic symptoms or depression scores.We don't know whether other antidepressants can improve symptoms or remission in people with bulimia nervosa.
We do not know whethercontinuation of antidepressant treatment may maintain a reduction in vomiting frequency compared with withdrawing treatment in people in remission.
PMCID: PMC2907970  PMID: 19450294
11.  Substance Use Disorders in Women with Anorexia Nervosa 
Objective
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.
Method
Participants (N = 731) were drawn from the International Price Foundation Genetic Studies.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1002/eat.20670
PMCID: PMC2807480  PMID: 19260043
eating disorders; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; drug use; alcohol related disorders; cannabis
12.  The relation of weight suppression and body mass index to symptomatology and treatment response in anorexia nervosa 
Journal of abnormal psychology  2013;122(3):694-708.
Weight suppression, the difference between highest past weight and current weight, is a robust predictor of clinical characteristics of bulimia nervosa; however, the influence of weight suppression in anorexia nervosa (AN) has been little studied, and no study to date has investigated the ways in which the relevance of weight suppression in AN may depend upon an individual’s current body mass index (BMI). The present study investigated weight suppression, BMI, and their interaction as cross-sectional and prospective predictors of psychological symptoms and weight in AN. Women with AN completed depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II) and eating disorder symptomatology measures (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire and Eating Disorders Inventory-3) at residential treatment admission (N = 350) and discharge (N = 238). Weight suppression and BMI were weakly correlated (r = −.22). At admission, BMI was positively correlated with all symptom measures except Restraint and depression scores. Weight suppression was also independently positively correlated with all measures except Weight Concern and Body Dissatisfaction subscale scores. In analyses examining discharge scores (including admission values as covariates), the admission weight suppression X BMI interaction consistently predicted post-treatment psychopathology. Controlling for weight gain in treatment and age, higher admission weight suppression predicted lower discharge scores (less symptom endorsement) among those with lower BMIs; among those with higher BMIs, higher weight suppression predicted higher discharge scores. These results are the first to demonstrate that absolute and relative weight status are joint indicators of AN severity and prognosis. These findings may have major implications for conceptualization and treatment of AN.
doi:10.1037/a0033930
PMCID: PMC4096540  PMID: 24016010
Anorexia nervosa; weight suppression; treatment; outcome
13.  Trait-level and momentary correlates of bulimia nervosa with a history of anorexia nervosa 
Objective
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.
Method
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−).
Results
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.
Discussion
Results do not support formally subtyping BN by AN history. Exercise in BN+ may modulate negative affect, which could have important treatment implications.
doi:10.1002/eat.22054
PMCID: PMC3570735  PMID: 22987478
eating disorders; bulimia nervosa; history of anorexia nervosa; subtyping; classification; exercise
14.  Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of olanzapine as an adjunctive treatment for anorexia nervosa in adolescent females: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:4.
Background
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a serious, debilitating condition that causes significant physical, emotional, and functional impairment. The condition is characterized by destructive weight loss behaviours and a refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height. AN often develops in adolescence and is a predominantly female disorder. Treatment for AN typically involves medical, nutritional and psychological interventions. Pharmacotherapy is also often used; however, the literature on the effectiveness of these drugs in a pediatric population is very limited. Olanzapine, which is an 'atypical' antipsychotic, is becoming more widespread in the treatment of AN. Olanzapine is hypothesized to facilitate weight gain, while decreasing levels of agitation and decreasing resistance to treatment in young women with AN. This randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial seeks to examine the effectiveness and safety of olanzapine in female youth with AN.
Methods/Design
Adolescent females between the ages of 12 and 17 diagnosed with AN (either restricting or binge/purge type) or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified with a Body Mass Index of less than or equal to 17.5, will be offered inclusion in the study. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive either olanzapine or placebo. Patients assigned to receive olanzapine will start at a low dose of 1.25 mg/day for three days, followed by 2.5 mg/day for four days, 5 mg/day for one week, then 7.5 mg/day (the target dose chosen) for 10 weeks. After 10 weeks at 7.5 mg the medication will be tapered and discontinued over a period of two weeks. The effectiveness of olanzapine versus placebo will be determined by investigating the change from baseline on measures of eating attitudes and behaviors, depression and anxiety, and change in Body Mass Index at week 12, and after a follow-up period at week 40. It is anticipated that 67 participants will be recruited over two years to complete enrollment.
Discussion
Randomized controlled trials designed to measure the safety and effectiveness of olanzapine in comparison to placebo are desperately needed, particularly in the adolescent population.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN23032339
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-4
PMCID: PMC2258294  PMID: 18234120
15.  A randomized trial comparing the efficacy of cognitive–behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa delivered via telemedicine versus face-to-face☆ 
Behaviour research and therapy  2008;46(5):581-592.
Objective
A major problem in the delivery of mental health services is the lack of availability of empirically supported treatment, particularly in rural areas. To date no studies have evaluated the administration of an empirically supported manual-based psychotherapy for a psychiatric condition via telemedicine. The aim of this study was to compare the relative efficacy and acceptability of a manual-based cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) for bulimia nervosa (BN) delivered in person to a comparable therapy delivered via telemedicine.
Method
One hundred twenty-eight adults meeting DSM-IV criteria for BN or eating disorder—not otherwise specified with binge eating or purging at least once per week were recruited through referrals from clinicians and media advertisements in the targeted geographical areas. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 20 sessions of manual-based, CBT for BN over 16 weeks delivered either face-to-face (FTF-CBT) or via telemedicine (TV-CBT) by trained therapists. The primary outcome measures were binge eating and purging frequency as assessed by interview at the end of treatment, and again at 3- and 12-month follow-ups. Secondary outcome measures included other bulimic symptoms and changes in mood.
Results
Retention in treatment was comparable for TV-CBT and FTF-CBT. Abstinence rates at end-of-treatment were generally slightly higher for FTF-CBT compared with TV-CBT, but differences were not statistically significant. FTF-CBT patients also experienced significantly greater reductions in eating disordered cognitions and interview-assessed depression. However, the differences overall were few in number and of marginal clinical significance.
Conclusions
CBT for BN delivered via telemedicine was both acceptable to participants and roughly equivalent in outcome to therapy delivered in person.
doi:10.1016/j.brat.2008.02.004
PMCID: PMC2633728  PMID: 18374304
Bulimia nervosa; Cognitive–behavioral therapy; Telemedicine
16.  Parent-focused treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa: a study protocol of a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14:105.
Background
Family-based treatment is an efficacious outpatient intervention for medically stable adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Previous research suggests family-based treatment may be more effective for some families when parents and adolescents attend separate therapy sessions compared to conjoint sessions. Our service developed a novel separated model of family-based treatment, parent-focused treatment, and is undertaking a randomised controlled trial to compare parent-focused treatment to conjoint family-based treatment.
Methods/Design
This randomised controlled trial will recruit 100 adolescents aged 12–18 years with DSM-IV anorexia nervosa or eating disorder not otherwise specified (anorexia nervosa type). The trial commenced in 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2015. Participants are recruited from the Royal Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program, Melbourne, Australia. Following a multidisciplinary intake assessment, eligible families who provide written informed consent are randomly allocated to either parent-focused treatment or conjoint family-based treatment. In parent-focused treatment, the adolescent sees a clinical nurse consultant and the parents see a trained mental health clinician. In conjoint family-based treatment, the whole family attends sessions with the mental health clinician. Both groups receive 18 treatment sessions over 6 months and regular medical monitoring by a paediatrician. The primary outcome is remission at end of treatment and 6 and 12 month follow up, with remission defined as being ≥ 95% expected body weight and having an eating disorder symptom score within one standard deviation of community norms. The secondary outcomes include partial remission and changes in eating pathology, depressive symptoms and self-esteem. Moderating and mediating factors will also be explored.
Discussion
This will be first randomised controlled trial of a parent-focused model of family-based treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa. If found to be efficacious, parent-focused treatment will offer an alternative approach for clinicians who treat adolescents with anorexia nervosa.
Trial registration
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000216011.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-105
PMCID: PMC3991924  PMID: 24712855
Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorders; Adolescents; Family therapy; Randomised controlled trial
17.  Temporal Sequence of Comorbid Alcohol Use Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa 
Addictive behaviors  2012;38(3):1704-1709.
Women with eating disorders have a significantly higher prevalence of substance use disorders than the general population. The goal of the current study was to assess the temporal pattern of comorbid anorexia nervosa (AN) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) and the impact this ordering has on symptomatology and associated features. Women were placed into one of three groups based on the presence or absence of comorbid AUD and the order of AN and AUD onset in those with both disorders: (1) AN Only, (2) AN First, and (3) AUD First. The groups were compared on psychological symptoms and personality characteristics often associated with AN, AUD, or both using general linear models. Twenty-one percent of women (n = 161) with AN reported a history of AUD with 115 reporting AN onset first and 35 reporting AUD onset first. Women with binge-eating and/or purging type AN were significantly more likely to have AUD. In general, differences were found only between women with AN Only and women with AN and AUD regardless of order of emergence. Women with AN and AUD had higher impulsivity scores and higher prevalence of depression and borderline personality disorder than women with AN Only. Women with AN First scored higher on traits commonly associated with AN, whereas women with comorbid AN and AUD displayed elevations in traits more commonly associated with AUD. Results do not indicate a distinct pattern of symptomatology in comorbid AN and AUD based on the temporal sequence of the disorders.
doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.10.005
PMCID: PMC3558554  PMID: 23254222
anorexia nervosa; alcohol use disorder; comorbidity; age of onset
18.  Taste Reward Circuitry Related Brain Structures Characterize Ill and Recovered Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa 
The American journal of psychiatry  2013;170(10):1152-1160.
Objective
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.
Method
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).
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12101294
PMCID: PMC3789862  PMID: 23680873
19.  The Clinical Utility of Personality Subtypes in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa 
Objective
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.
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1037/a0024597
PMCID: PMC3183402  PMID: 21767000
anorexia nervosa; subtypes; personality; latent profile analysis; treatment
20.  The outcome of treatment for anorexia nervosa inpatients who required urgent hospitalization 
Background
This study was done to determine which psychosocial factors are related to the urgent hospitalization of anorexia nervosa patients (AN) due to extremely poor physical condition and to evaluate their outcome after inpatient treatment.
Methods
133 hospitalized AN patients were classified into an urgent hospitalization (n = 24) or a planned hospitalization (n = 109) group. Multiple regression analysis was done of clinical features, body mass index (BMI), psychological tests [The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), alexithymia, relationship with parents, and the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI)]. The effectiveness of treatment was prospectively determined two years after discharge by the Global Clinical Score (GCS). The hospitalized weight gain and the frequency of outpatient visits were evaluated.
Results
Of the factors assessed, only BMI at admission was related to the necessity of urgent hospitalization (β = − 1.063, P = 0.00). The urgent group had significantly more weight loss after discharge and poorer social adaptation on the GCS, even when the patient had a sufficient increase in body weight during inpatient treatment and an equivalent number of outpatient consultations.
Conclusion
None of the parameters of the psychosocial tests studied were significantly different between the groups. The outcome of the urgent group was poor. Two years after discharge they had difficulty maintaining weight and continued to have poor social adaptation.
doi:10.1186/1751-0759-8-20
PMCID: PMC4163679  PMID: 25225574
Anorexia nervosa; Urgent hospitalization; Outcome; BMI; MMPI; EDI
21.  Anorexia nervosa trios: behavioral profiles of individuals with anorexianervosa and their parents 
Psychological medicine  2008;39(3):451-461.
Background
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is associated with behavioral traits that predate the onset of AN and persist after recovery. We identified patterns of behavioral traits in AN trios (proband plus two biological parents).
Method
A total of 433 complete trios were collected in the Price Foundation Genetic Study of AN using standardized instruments for eating disorder (ED) symptoms, anxiety, perfectionism, and temperament. We used latent profile analysis and ANOVA to identify and validate patterns of behavioral traits.
Results
We distinguished three classes with medium to large effect sizes by mothers’ and probands’ drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, perfectionism, neuroticism, trait anxiety, and harm avoidance. Fathers did not differ significantly across classes. Classes were distinguished by degree of symptomatology rather than qualitative differences. Class 1 (~33 %) comprised low symptom probands and mothers with scores in the healthy range. Class 2 (~43 %) included probands with marked elevations in drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, neuroticism, trait anxiety, and harm avoidance and mothers with mild anxious/perfectionistic traits. Class 3 (~24 %) included probands and mothers with elevations on ED and anxious/perfectionistic traits. Mother–daughter symptom severity was related in classes 1 and 3 only. Trio profiles did not differ significantly by proband clinical status or subtype.
Conclusions
A key finding is the importance of mother and daughter traits in the identification of temperament and personality patterns in families affected by AN. Mother–daughter pairs with severe ED and anxious/perfectionistic traits may represent a more homogeneous and familial variant of AN that could be of value in genetic studies.
doi:10.1017/S0033291708003826
PMCID: PMC3714180  PMID: 18578898
Anorexia nervosa; eating disorder; genetics; temperament
22.  Dysregulation of Brain Reward Systems in Eating Disorders: Neurochemical Information from Animal Models of Binge Eating, Bulimia Nervosa, and Anorexia Nervosa 
Neuropharmacology  2011;63(1):87-96.
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.
doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.11.010
PMCID: PMC3366171  PMID: 22138162
acetylcholine; binge eating; clinical studies; dopamine; eating disorders; opioids; rat; serotonin
23.  Reduced Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Somatosensory Cortex Predicts Psychopathological Symptoms in Women with Bulimia Nervosa 
Background: Alterations in the resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) of several brain networks have been demonstrated in eating disorders. However, very few studies are currently available on brain network dysfunctions in bulimia nervosa (BN). The somatosensory network is central in processing body-related stimuli and it may be altered in BN. The present study therefore aimed to investigate rs-FC in the somatosensory network in bulimic women.
Methods: Sixteen medication-free women with BN (age = 23 ± 5 years) and 18 matched controls (age = 23 ± 3 years) underwent a functional magnetic resonance resting-state scan and assessment of eating disorder symptoms. Within-network and seed-based functional connectivity analyses were conducted to assess rs-FC within the somatosensory network and to other areas of the brain.
Results: Bulimia nervosa patients showed a decreased rs-FC both within the somatosensory network (t = 9.0, df = 1, P = 0.005) and with posterior cingulate cortex and two visual areas (the right middle occipital gyrus and the right cuneus) (P = 0.05 corrected for multiple comparison). The rs-FC of the left paracentral lobule with the right middle occipital gyrus correlated with psychopathology measures like bulimia (r = −0.4; P = 0.02) and interoceptive awareness (r = −0.4; P = 0.01). Analyses were conducted using age, BMI (body mass index), and depressive symptoms as covariates.
Conclusion: Our findings show a specific alteration of the rs-FC of the somatosensory cortex in BN patients, which correlates with eating disorder symptoms. The region in the right middle occipital gyrus is implicated in body processing and is known as extrastriate body area (EBA). The connectivity between the somatosensory cortex and the EBA might be related to dysfunctions in body image processing. The results should be considered preliminary due to the small sample size.
doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00270
PMCID: PMC4120855  PMID: 25136302
bulimia; eating disorders; fMRI; resting state; functional connectivity; somatosensory network
24.  Decision making, central coherence and set-shifting: a comparison between Binge Eating Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa and Healthy Controls 
BMC Psychiatry  2015;15:6.
Background
Several studies have investigated the cognitive profile in patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN); on the contrary few studies have evaluated it in patients with Binge Eating Disorder (BED). The purpose of this study was to compare decision making, central coherence and set-shifting between BED and AN patients.
Methods
A battery of neuropsychological tests including the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT), the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the Trial Making Task (TMT) and the Hayling Sentence Completion Task (HSCT) were administered in a sample of 135 women (45 AN, 45 BED, 45 Healthy Controls [HC]). Furthermore, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was administered to evaluate depressive symptoms. Years of education, age, Body Mass Index (BMI) and depression severity were considered as covariates in statistical analyses.
Results
BED and AN patients showed high rates of cognitive impairment compared to HC on the domains investigated; furthermore, the cognitive profile of BED patients was characterised by poorer decision making and cognitive flexibility compared to patients with AN. Cognitive performance was strongly associated with depressive symptoms.
Conclusions
In the present sample, two different neurocognitive profiles emerged: a strong cognitive rigidity and a central coherence based on the details was predominant in patients with AN, while a lack of attention and difficulty in adapting to changes in a new situation seemed to better describe patients with BED. The knowledge of the different cognitive profiles of EDs patients may be important for the planning their psychotherapeutic intervention.
doi:10.1186/s12888-015-0395-z
PMCID: PMC4308856  PMID: 25616812
Anorexia Nervosa; Binge Eating Disorder; Cognitive flexibility; Central coherence; Set-shifting; Decision making; Neuropsychology; Depression
25.  Psychosomatic syndromes and anorexia nervosa 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:14.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-14
PMCID: PMC3556145  PMID: 23302180
Anorexia nervosa; Eating disorders; Psychosomatic syndromes; Illness denial; Alexithymia

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