Neuroimaging allows for the identification of brain abnormalities and alterations that are associated with anorexia nervosa (AN). We performed a scoping review to map out the extent and nature of recent research activity on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in individuals diagnosed with, or recovered from, AN (AN-REC).
A literature search of PubMed, Psychinfo and Embase was conducted using the search terms “anorexia nervosa” AND “functional magnetic resonance imaging.” We included fMRI studies that involved a comparison between individuals with AN or AN-REC and healthy controls published in English language between 2010 and 2015. A total of 49 papers were included, regardless of the experimental stimuli or paradigm.
Findings varied considerably across studies, reflecting methodological differences in study design, such as sample differences and experimental paradigms. Collectively, studies published during the past five years suggest altered activation in regions related to the fronto-striato and the limbic circuits, which are theorized to have an important role in the pathophysiology of AN.
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