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Regional cerebral blood flow changes in early-onset anorexia nervosa before and after weight gain

      Abstract

      To investigate the changes of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in early-onset anorexia nervosa (AN) before and after weight gain, we examined resting rCBF using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [123I]iodoamphetamine (123I-IMP). Ten female children with AN (mean age 13.2 years old) participated in this study. SPECT examinations were performed in all patients twice at the beginning of treatment and after weight gain. The mean body mass index (BMI) was changed from 13.1 to 16.6 during 4 months treatment period. Automatic voxel-based analysis of the images was carried out using statistical parametric mapping (SPM) software. Relatively increased rCBF in the bilateral parietal lobe and limbic lobe including the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) were observed after weight gain in early-onset AN. There was no significant decrease in the rCBF after weight gain. A significant positive correlation was observed between BMI and rCBF in the right thalamus, right parietal lobe, and right cerebellum. These results suggested that weight gain during the process of recovery from early-onset AN might activate specific brain regions which are possibly relevant to the pathophysiological aspects of the disorder.

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