To date, significant neurological imaging and research has been conducted to better understand the underlying mechanisms driving anorexia nervosa. For those suffering from atypical anorexia nervosa, questions still remain regarding the existence of a brain-basis and what the identification of brain alterations may mean for the treatment and diagnosis of this disorder. The evaluation of 22 adolescents under the care of head researcher Dr. Gaia Olivo determined there was no difference in the detectable grey matter (GM) regional volume between the atypical anorexic population and the control group. Historically, atypical AN patients and AN patients were thought to be part of the same spectrum of restrictive-ED although as there was no detectable difference in grey matter in the atypical AN group (as typically seen in the AN brain), more work will need to be done to determine how to further differentiate atypical AN from AN. To learn more about the implications of these findings head to the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
Atypical anorexia nervosa is not related to brain structural changes in newly diagnosed adolescent patients. Int J Eat Disord. 2018 Jan;51(1):39-45. doi: 10.1002/eat.22805. Epub 2017 Dec 7.