Intact neural and behavioral correlates of emotion processing and regulation in weight-recovered anorexia nervosa: a combined fMRI and EMA study

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review

Abstract

Altered emotion processing and regulation mechanisms play a key role in eating disorders. We recently reported increased fMRI responses in brain regions involved in emotion processing (amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) in acutely underweight anorexia nervosa (AN) patients while passively viewing negatively valenced images. We also showed that patients’ ability to downregulate activity elicited by positively valenced pictures in a brain region involved in reward processing (ventral striatum) was predictive of worse outcomes (increased rumination and negative affect). The current study tries to answer the question of whether these alterations are only state effects associated with undernutrition or whether they constitute a trait characteristic of the disorder that persists after recovery. Forty-one individuals that were weight-recovered from AN (recAN) and 41 age-matched healthy controls (HC) completed an established emotion regulation paradigm using negatively and positively valenced visual stimuli. We assessed behavioral (arousal) and fMRI measures (activity in the amygdala, ventral striatum, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) during emotion processing and regulation. Additionally, measures of disorder-relevant rumination and affect were collected several times daily for 2 weeks after scanning via ecological momentary assessment. In contrast to our previous findings in acute AN patients, recAN showed no significant alterations either on a behavioral or neural level. Further, there were no associations between fMRI responses and post-scan momentary measures of rumination and affect. Together, these results suggest that neural responses to emotionally valenced stimuli as well as relationships with everyday rumination and affect likely reflect state-related alterations in AN that improve following successful weight-recovery.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalTranslational psychiatry
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2022
Peer-reviewedYes

External IDs

Scopus 85123463577
PubMed 35075103
unpaywall 10.1038/s41398-022-01797-1
WOS 000746604100003
Mendeley 00d6815c-9339-3fc3-b19d-76f7ceb0c14d

Keywords

Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Keywords

  • Anorexia Nervosa/diagnostic imaging, Brain Mapping, Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex, Ecological Momentary Assessment, Emotions, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging