ENIGMA-Eating Disorders

ENIGMA-ED is a new working group dedicated to improving our understanding of structural brain changes in patients with anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa and how those changes normalize during or after recovery. This group aims to carry out a meta-analysis of existing MRI data with adolescents and adults who have or had an eating disorder in the past. The main objects of ENIGMA-ED include:

  • To create a worldwide network of ED neuroimaging centers focused on understanding mechanisms of (pseudo)atrophy of the brain in ED
  • To collect summary statistics of regional cortical thickness, brain volume, brain shape and brain wiring from hundreds of people with ED
  • To identify patterns of structural differences that occur during the acute stage of ED in regional cortical thickness, brain volume, brain shape and brain wiring and explore the relation between these measures and cognitive impairment as well as therapy/ long-term outcome (along with covariates such as age, duration of illness, severity of weight loss)
  • To learn about the temporal dynamics, pattern and completeness of normalization of regional cortical thickness, brain volume, brain shape and brain wiring during and after recovery
  • To develop collaborations and infrastructure for future analyses

We will examine brain structure (e.g., regional cortical thickness, brain volume, brain shape) and brain structural connectivity (e.g., white matter integrity). This dataset could also have the potential to examine the effects of acute undernutrition on brain structure, cognitive abilities and long-term outcome as well as help to unravel the mechanisms underlying normalization of brain changes after re-alimentation.

We are happy to welcome new cohorts at any time!

For more information on how to join and contribute anorexia nervosa data, contact Dr. Stefan Ehrlich (transden.lab@uniklinikum-dresden.de). To join and contribute bulimia nervosa data, contact Dr. Laura Berner (lberner@ucsd.edu).

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