Anorexia nervosa (AN), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) are often co-morbid; however, the aetiology of such co-morbidity has not been well investigated. This study examined brain activation in women with AN and in healthy control (HC) women during the provocation of symmetry/ordering-related anxiety. During provocation, patients with AN showed more anxiety compared to HCs, which was correlated with the severity of symmetry/ordering symptoms. Activation in the right parietal lobe and right prefrontal cortex (rPFC) in response to provocation was reduced in the AN group compared with the HC group. The reduced right parietal activation observed in the AN group is consistent with parietal lobe involvement in visuospatial cognition and with studies of OCD reporting an association between structural abnormalities in this region and the severity of 'ordering' symptoms. Reduced rPFC activation in response to symmetry/ordering provocation has similarities with some, but not all, data collected from patients with AN who were exposed to images of food and bodies. Furthermore, the combination of data from the AN and HC groups showed that rPFC activation during symptom provocation was inversely correlated with the severity of symmetry/ordering symptoms. These data suggest that individuals with AN have a diminished ability to cognitively deal with illness-associated symptoms of provocation. Furthermore, our data also suggest that symptom provocation can progressively overload attempts by the rPFC to exert cognitive control. These findings are discussed in the context of the current neurobiological models of AN.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Clinical Medicine -- Neurology (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Klinisk medicin -- Neurologi (hsv//swe)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Klinisk medicin (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Clinical Medicine (hsv//eng)