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Increased anticipatory but decreased consummatory brain responses to food in sisters of anorexia nervosa patients

  • Stefanie Horndasch (a1), Sophie O'Keefe (a2), Anneka Lamond (a2), Katie Brown (a2) and Ciara McCabe (a2)...
Abstract
Background

We have previously shown increased anticipatory and consummatory neural responses to rewarding and aversive food stimuli in women recovered from anorexia nervosa (AN).

Aims

To determine whether these differences are trait markers for AN, we examined the neural response in those with a familial history but no personal history of AN.

Method

Thirty-six volunteers were recruited: 15 who had a sister with anorexia nervosa (family history) and 21 control participants. Using fMRI we examined the neural response during an anticipatory phase (food cues, rewarding and aversive), an effort phase and a consummatory phase (rewarding and aversive tastes).

Results

Family history (FH) volunteers showed increased activity in the caudate during the anticipation of both reward and aversive food and in the thalamus and amygdala during anticipation of aversive only. FH had decreased activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the pallidum and the superior frontal gyrus during taste consumption.

Conclusions

Increased neural anticipatory but decreased consummatory responses to food might be a biomarker for AN. Interventions that could normalise these differences may help to prevent disorder onset.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Ciara McCabe, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AL, UK. Email: c.mccabe@reading.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

C.M. has acted as a consultant to P1VITAL, Givaudan, GWPharma, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Channel 4.

Footnotes
References
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Increased anticipatory but decreased consummatory brain responses to food in sisters of anorexia nervosa patients

  • Stefanie Horndasch (a1), Sophie O'Keefe (a2), Anneka Lamond (a2), Katie Brown (a2) and Ciara McCabe (a2)...
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