Course Description: This course is based upon material published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry and is available as an open access article at Sage.
ABSTRACT Objective: Recent advances in neuroimaging techniques have enabled a better understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of anorexia nervosa (AN). The aim of this paper was to summarise our current understanding of the neurobiology of AN.
Methods: The literature was searched using the electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar, and by additional hand searches through reference lists and specialist eating disorders journals. Relevant studies were included if they were written in English, only used human participants, had a specific AN group, used clinical populations of AN, group comparisons were reported for AN compared to healthy controls and not merely AN compared to other eating disorders or other psychiatric groups, and were not case studies.
Results: The systematic review summarises a number of structural and functional brain differences which are reported in individuals with AN, including differences in neurotransmitter function, regional cerebral blood flow, glucose metabolism, volumetrics and the blood oxygen level dependent response.
Conclusion: Several structural and functional differences have been reported in AN, some of which reverse and others which persist following weight restoration. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of AN, and further research in this field may provide new direction for the development of more effective treatments.
This course on neurobiology in anorexia nervosa is intended for psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of neurobiological factors associated with anorexia nervosa. The course material includes a literature review of individual variables, psychological characteristics and factors related to social support. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require continuing education courses for license renewal.
The course is based on a journal article which includes research. It is a rather comprehensive literature review and provides the practitioners with an overview of the research published on neurobiological factors and anorexia nervosa. A major benefit of reading literature reviews for continuing education is that they provide practitioners with the latest findings in their field.
Authors: Phillipou, Rossell and Castle
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding research on neurobiology of anorexia nervosa. Specifically, a professional will:
• Describe differences in neurotransmitter functions and glucose metabolism in individuals with anorexia nervosa.
• Identify structural and functional brain differences in individuals with anorexia nervosa.
• Recognize which differences in function are reversible in individuals with anorexia nervosa.
Citation: Phillipou, Rossell and Castle (2014). The neurobiology of anorexia nervosa a systematic review. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2014, Vol. 48(2) 128–152