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01.12.2016 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2016

Normal gray matter volumes in women recovered from anorexia nervosa: a voxel-based morphometry study

BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2016
Lasse Bang, Øyvind Rø, Tor Endestad
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

LB conceived the study, participated in its design, collected the data, performed the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. ØR participated in the design and coordination of the study, and helped draft the manuscript. TE participated in the design of the study, contributed to the statistical analyses, and helped draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Anorexia nervosa (AN) has consistently been associated with reduced gray (GM) and white matter (WM) brain volumes. It is unclear whether GM alterations are present following recovery from AN, as previous findings are inconsistent. The aim of the present study was to determine if women recovered from AN exhibit reduced global or regional GM volumes.


Global GM and WM, as well as regional GM volumes, were investigated in 22 women recovered from AN and 22 age-matched healthy controls using magnetic resonance imaging. Women were considered recovered if they had maintained a body mass index above 18.0 and had not engaged in binge eating, purging, or restrictive eating behaviors during the past year.


There were no significant differences between recovered AN women and healthy controls in terms of GM and WM volumes. There were also no significant differences between restricting and binging-purging AN subtypes. Lowest lifetime weight was positively correlated with regional GM volumes in the precuneus and insula.


The present study showed that regional GM and global GM and WM volumes were similar for women long-term recovered from AN and age-matched healthy controls. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which illness severity affect regional GM volumes.
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