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1.  Explicit and Implicit Emotional Expression in Bulimia Nervosa in the Acute State and after Recovery 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101639.
Expression of emotional state is considered to be a core facet of an individual's emotional competence. Emotional processing in BN has not been often studied and has not been considered from a broad perspective. This study aimed at examining the implicit and explicit emotional expression in BN patients, in the acute state and after recovery. Sixty-three female participants were included: 22 BN, 22 recovered BN (R-BN), and 19 healthy controls (HC). The clinical cases were drawn from consecutive admissions and diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria. Self reported (explicit) emotional expression was measured with State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Symptom Check List-90 items-Revised. Emotional facial expression (implicit) was recorded by means of an integrated camera (by detecting Facial Feature Tracking), during a 20 minutes therapeutic video game. In the acute illness explicit emotional expression [anxiety (p<0.001) and anger (p<0.05)] was increased. In the recovered group this was decreased to an intermediate level between the acute illness and healthy controls [anxiety (p<0.001) and anger (p<0.05)]. In the implicit measurement of emotional expression patients with acute BN expressed more joy (p<0.001) and less anger (p<0.001) than both healthy controls and those in the recovered group. These findings suggest that there are differences in the implicit and explicit emotional processing in BN, which is significantly reduced after recovery, suggesting an improvement in emotional regulation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101639
PMCID: PMC4079716  PMID: 24987853
2.  Association of Irisin with Fat Mass, Resting Energy Expenditure, and Daily Activity in Conditions of Extreme Body Mass Index 
FNDC5/irisin has been recently postulated as beneficial in the treatment of obesity and diabetes because it is induced in muscle by exercise, increasing energy expenditure. However, recent reports have shown that WAT also secretes irisin and that circulating irisin is elevated in obese subjects. The aim of this study was to evaluate irisin levels in conditions of extreme BMI and its correlation with basal metabolism and daily activity. The study involved 145 female patients, including 96 with extreme BMIs (30 anorexic (AN) and 66 obese (OB)) and 49 healthy normal weight (NW). The plasma irisin levels were significantly elevated in the OB patients compared with the AN and NW patients. Irisin also correlated positively with body weight, BMI, and fat mass. The OB patients exhibited the highest REE and higher daily physical activity compared with the AN patients but lower activity compared with the NW patients. The irisin levels were inversely correlated with daily physical activity and directly correlated with REE. Fat mass contributed to most of the variability of the irisin plasma levels independently of the other studied parameters. Conclusion. Irisin levels are influenced by energy expenditure independently of daily physical activity but fat mass is the main contributing factor.
doi:10.1155/2014/857270
PMCID: PMC4016898  PMID: 24864142
3.  A genome-wide association study of anorexia nervosa 
Boraska, Vesna | Franklin, Christopher S | Floyd, James AB | Thornton, Laura M | Huckins, Laura M | Southam, Lorraine | Rayner, N William | Tachmazidou, Ioanna | Klump, Kelly L | Treasure, Janet | Lewis, Cathryn M | Schmidt, Ulrike | Tozzi, Federica | Kiezebrink, Kirsty | Hebebrand, Johannes | Gorwood, Philip | Adan, Roger AH | Kas, Martien JH | Favaro, Angela | Santonastaso, Paolo | Fernández-Aranda, Fernando | Gratacos, Monica | Rybakowski, Filip | Dmitrzak-Weglarz, Monika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Keski-Rahkonen, Anna | Raevuori, Anu | Van Furth, Eric F | Slof-Op t Landt, Margarita CT | Hudson, James I | Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted | Knudsen, Gun Peggy S | Monteleone, Palmiero | Kaplan, Allan S | Karwautz, Andreas | Hakonarson, Hakon | Berrettini, Wade H | Guo, Yiran | Li, Dong | Schork, Nicholas J. | Komaki, Gen | Ando, Tetsuya | Inoko, Hidetoshi | Esko, Tõnu | Fischer, Krista | Männik, Katrin | Metspalu, Andres | Baker, Jessica H | Cone, Roger D | Dackor, Jennifer | DeSocio, Janiece E | Hilliard, Christopher E | O’Toole, Julie K | Pantel, Jacques | Szatkiewicz, Jin P | Taico, Chrysecolla | Zerwas, Stephanie | Trace, Sara E | Davis, Oliver SP | Helder, Sietske | Bühren, Katharina | Burghardt, Roland | de Zwaan, Martina | Egberts, Karin | Ehrlich, Stefan | Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate | Herzog, Wolfgang | Imgart, Hartmut | Scherag, André | Scherag, Susann | Zipfel, Stephan | Boni, Claudette | Ramoz, Nicolas | Versini, Audrey | Brandys, Marek K | Danner, Unna N | de Kovel, Carolien | Hendriks, Judith | Koeleman, Bobby PC | Ophoff, Roel A | Strengman, Eric | van Elburg, Annemarie A | Bruson, Alice | Clementi, Maurizio | Degortes, Daniela | Forzan, Monica | Tenconi, Elena | Docampo, Elisa | Escaramís, Geòrgia | Jiménez-Murcia, Susana | Lissowska, Jolanta | Rajewski, Andrzej | Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Neonila | Slopien, Agnieszka | Hauser, Joanna | Karhunen, Leila | Meulenbelt, Ingrid | Slagboom, P Eline | Tortorella, Alfonso | Maj, Mario | Dedoussis, George | Dikeos, Dimitris | Gonidakis, Fragiskos | Tziouvas, Konstantinos | Tsitsika, Artemis | Papezova, Hana | Slachtova, Lenka | Martaskova, Debora | Kennedy, James L. | Levitan, Robert D. | Yilmaz, Zeynep | Huemer, Julia | Koubek, Doris | Merl, Elisabeth | Wagner, Gudrun | Lichtenstein, Paul | Breen, Gerome | Cohen-Woods, Sarah | Farmer, Anne | McGuffin, Peter | Cichon, Sven | Giegling, Ina | Herms, Stefan | Rujescu, Dan | Schreiber, Stefan | Wichmann, H-Erich | Dina, Christian | Sladek, Rob | Gambaro, Giovanni | Soranzo, Nicole | Julia, Antonio | Marsal, Sara | Rabionet, Raquel | Gaborieau, Valerie | Dick, Danielle M | Palotie, Aarno | Ripatti, Samuli | Widén, Elisabeth | Andreassen, Ole A | Espeseth, Thomas | Lundervold, Astri | Reinvang, Ivar | Steen, Vidar M | Le Hellard, Stephanie | Mattingsdal, Morten | Ntalla, Ioanna | Bencko, Vladimir | Foretova, Lenka | Janout, Vladimir | Navratilova, Marie | Gallinger, Steven | Pinto, Dalila | Scherer, Stephen | Aschauer, Harald | Carlberg, Laura | Schosser, Alexandra | Alfredsson, Lars | Ding, Bo | Klareskog, Lars | Padyukov, Leonid | Finan, Chris | Kalsi, Gursharan | Roberts, Marion | Logan, Darren W | Peltonen, Leena | Ritchie, Graham RS | Barrett, Jeffrey C | Estivill, Xavier | Hinney, Anke | Sullivan, Patrick F | Collier, David A | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Bulik, Cynthia M
Molecular psychiatry  2010;16(9):10.1038/mp.2010.107.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10−7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10−6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10−6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10−6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P= 4×10−6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
doi:10.1038/mp.2010.107
PMCID: PMC3859494  PMID: 21079607
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
4.  Modulation of the Endocannabinoids N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on Executive Functions in Humans 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66387.
Animal studies point to an implication of the endocannabinoid system on executive functions. In humans, several studies have suggested an association between acute or chronic use of exogenous cannabinoids (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and executive impairments. However, to date, no published reports establish the relationship between endocannabinoids, as biomarkers of the cannabinoid neurotransmission system, and executive functioning in humans. The aim of the present study was to explore the association between circulating levels of plasma endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and executive functions (decision making, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility) in healthy subjects. One hundred and fifty seven subjects were included and assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; Stroop Color and Word Test; and Iowa Gambling Task. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years and spoke Spanish as their first language. Results showed a negative correlation between 2-AG and cognitive flexibility performance (r = −.37; p<.05). A positive correlation was found between AEA concentrations and both cognitive flexibility (r = .59; p<.05) and decision making performance (r = .23; P<.05). There was no significant correlation between either 2-AG (r = −.17) or AEA (r = −.08) concentrations and inhibition response. These results show, in humans, a relevant modulation of the endocannabinoid system on prefrontal-dependent cognitive functioning. The present study might have significant implications for the underlying executive alterations described in some psychiatric disorders currently associated with endocannabinoids deregulation (namely drug abuse/dependence, depression, obesity and eating disorders). Understanding the neurobiology of their dysexecutive profile might certainly contribute to the development of new treatments and pharmacological approaches.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066387
PMCID: PMC3686875  PMID: 23840456
5.  ADHD symptomatology in eating disorders: a secondary psychopathological measure of severity? 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:166.
Background
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has commonly been described in psychiatric disorders. Although several studies have found positive associations between abnormal eating patterns during childhood and ADHD, there is a lack of studies on ADHD and Eating Disorders (ED). The aims of this exploratory study were 1) to assess the ADHD symptoms level in ED and to ascertain whether there are differences among ED subtypes; 2) to analyze whether the presence of ADHD symptoms is associated with more severe eating disorder symptoms and greater general psychopathology; and 3) to assess whether the ADHD symptoms level is associated with specific temperament and character traits.
Methods
191 female ED patients were included. Assessment was carried out with the EDI-2, ASRS-v1.1, the SCL-90-R and the TCI-R.
Results
The ADHD symptoms level was similar in bulimia, eating disorder not otherwise specified and binge eating subtypes, and lower in anorexic patients. Obsessiveness and Hostility were significantly positively associated with ADHD symptoms. A path model showed that ADHD was associated with high Novelty Seeking and low Self-Directedness, whereas ED severity was influenced by ADHD severity and low Self-Directedness.
Conclusions
Bingeing/purging ED subtypes have a high ADHD symptoms level, also related with more severe eating, general and personality psychopathology.
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-166
PMCID: PMC3693886  PMID: 23758944
Eating disorders; ADHD; Psychopathology; Personality profiles
6.  Executive Functions Profile in Extreme Eating/Weight Conditions: From Anorexia Nervosa to Obesity 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43382.
Background
Extreme weight conditions (EWC) groups along a continuum may share some biological risk factors and intermediate neurocognitive phenotypes. A core cognitive trait in EWC appears to be executive dysfunction, with a focus on decision making, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Differences between individuals in these areas are likely to contribute to the differences in vulnerability to EWC. The aim of the study was to investigate whether there is a common pattern of executive dysfunction in EWC while comparing anorexia nervosa patients (AN), obese subjects (OB) and healthy eating/weight controls (HC).
Methods
Thirty five AN patients, fifty two OB and one hundred thirty seven HC were compared using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST); Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT); and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years.
Results
There was a significant difference in IGT score (F(1.79); p<.001), with AN and OB groups showing the poorest performance compared to HC. On the WCST, AN and OB made significantly more errors than controls (F(25.73); p<.001), and had significantly fewer correct responses (F(2.71); p<.001). Post hoc analysis revealed that the two clinical groups were not significantly different from each other. Finally, OB showed a significant reduced performance in the inhibition response measured with the Stroop test (F(5.11); p<.001) compared with both AN and HC.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that EWC subjects (namely AN and OB) have similar dysfunctional executive profile that may play a role in the development and maintenance of such disorders.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043382
PMCID: PMC3424186  PMID: 22927962
7.  Effect of executive functioning, decision-making and self-reported impulsivity on the treatment outcome of pathologic gambling 
Background
Impairments in self-regulatory behaviour reflect a deficit in executive functioning and decision-making, as well as higher levels of self-reported impulsivity, and may be involved in the development and maintenance of addictive disorders. We sought to explore the association between self-reported impulsivity and neurocognitive measures, and their association with treatment outcome in pathologic gambling.
Methods
We assessed patients with pathologic gambling using executive functioning and decision-making tests and self-report measures of impulsivity. Patients underwent cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for pathologic gambling.
Results
We included 88 patients (8% women) in our study. High self-reported extravagance was associated with poor performance in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT)-ABCD version. High impulsiveness, low disorderliness, high exploratory excitability (trend), poor backward block span and poor IGT-EFGH scores (trend) predicted dropout. We observed no self-reported or neurocognitive predictors of relapse or number of treatment sessions attended.
Limitations
Most participants were slot-machine gamblers seeking treatment. No follow-up data and no control group were included in the study. The missing sample (i.e., individuals who were recruited and assessed in the pretreatment stage but who chose not to begin treatment) had higher extravagance scores than the final sample.
Conclusion
Neurocognitive reward sensitivity was related to self-reported overspending behaviour. Self-regulatory impairments (especially rash impulsiveness and punishment sensitivity) and executive dysfunction predicted only dropout of CBT in participants with pathologic gambling. Different neurocognitive processes and personality traits might mediate treatment response to psychological therapy of pathologic gambling according to the specific target variable assessed.
doi:10.1503/jpn.090095
PMCID: PMC3080512  PMID: 21138656
8.  Video games as a complementary therapy tool in mental disorders: PlayMancer, a European multicentre study 
Background: Previous review studies have suggested that computer games can serve as an alternative or additional form of treatment in several areas (schizophrenia, asthma or motor rehabilitation). Although several naturalistic studies have been conducted showing the usefulness of serious video games in the treatment of some abnormal behaviours, there is a lack of serious games specially designed for treating mental disorders.
Aim: The purpose of our project was to develop and evaluate a serious video game designed to remediate attitudinal, behavioural and emotional processes of patients with impulse-related disorders.
Method and results: The video game was created and developed within the European research project PlayMancer. It aims to prove potential capacity to change underlying attitudinal, behavioural and emotional processes of patients with impulse-related disorders. New interaction modes were provided by newly developed components, such as emotion recognition from speech, face and physiological reactions, while specific impulsive reactions were elicited. The video game uses biofeedback for helping patients to learn relaxation skills, acquire better self-control strategies and develop new emotional regulation strategies. In this article, we present a description of the video game used, rationale, user requirements, usability and preliminary data, in several mental disorders.
doi:10.3109/09638237.2012.664302
PMCID: PMC3433177  PMID: 22548300
new technologies; video games; therapy; mental disorders
9.  Lifetime Obesity in Patients with Eating Disorders: Increasing Prevalence, Clinical and Personality Correlates 
European Eating Disorders Review  2012;20(3):250-254.
Objectives
: The aims of our study were to examine the lifetime prevalence of obesity rate in eating disorders (ED) subtypes and to examine whether there have been temporal changes among the last 10 years and to explore clinical differences between ED with and without lifetime obesity.
Methods
: Participants were 1383 ED female patients (DSM-IV criteria) consecutively admitted, between 2001 and 2010, to Bellvitge University Hospital. They were assessed by means of the Eating Disorders Inventory-2, the Symptom Checklist-90—Revised, the Bulimic Investigatory Test Edinburgh and the Temperament and Character Inventory—Revised.
Results
: The prevalence of lifetime obesity in ED cases was 28.8% (ranging from 5% in anorexia nervosa to 87% in binge-eating disorders). Over the last 10 years, there has been a threefold increase in lifetime obesity in ED patients (p < .001). People with an ED and obesity had higher levels of childhood and family obesity (p < .001), a later age of onset and longer ED duration; and had higher levels of eating, general and personality symptomatology.
Conclusions
: Over the last 10 years, the prevalence of obesity associated with disorders characterized by the presence of binge episodes, namely bulimic disorders, is increasing, and this is linked with greater clinical severity and a poorer prognosis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
doi:10.1002/erv.2166
PMCID: PMC3510304  PMID: 22383308
obesity; eating disorders; personality; psychopathology

Results 1-9 (9)