Executive functioning and central coherence in anorexia nervosa: Pilot investigation of a neurocognitive endophenotype.
A neurocognitive profile characterized by problems in set shifting, executive functioning, and central coherence may pre-date and maintain anorexia nervosa (AN). To test this pattern as a possible endophenotype for AN, 10 youth with current AN, 14 healthy youth, and their biological parents, participated in a neuropsychological battery. Youth with AN demonstrated significantly weaker central coherence, related to enhanced detail-focused processing. Youth with AN and their parents demonstrated significantly greater psychopathology relative to controls, and youth-parent scores were significantly correlated. The study, limited by a small sample size, found little evidence supporting a neuropsychological endophenotype for AN. Identifying a neurocognitive profile for children and adolescents with AN has important implications for the treatment of young patients.
Brown, M; Loeb, KL; McGrath, RE; Tiersky, L; Zucker, N; Carlin, A
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