eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 9

Review article
Neuropsychological aspects of attention process deficits in the course of anorexia nervosa

Mariusz Jaworski

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2014; 9, 1: 30–37
Online publish date: 2014/05/26
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Anorexia nervosa is classified as a group of eating disorders related to obsessive control of weight and the amount of food intake. This behavioral disorder relates to 1-2% of the population, and is increasing. The etiology of this disorder is complex, and therapy should proceed multidimensionally. However, researchers have drawn attention to the relationship between anorexia symptoms and cognitive problems in recent times. Neuropsychological diagnosis plays an important role in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. This diagnosis is aimed at the selection of optimal treatment for this group of patients. Many medical complications in patients with anorexia nervosa within the central nervous system (CNS) can significantly affect both their attitude towards their illness and treatment undertaken. A review of the literature concerning problems with attention processes in the course of anorexia nervosa is presented in the article. The attention problems mainly relate to the growth of its selectivity. The increased selectivity particularly relates to stimuli related to food and body shapes. The activation of the lateral plane of the bend spindle (Brodmann area 19 and 37), inferior parietal cortex (Brodmann area 40) and lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 44) is observed in patients with anorexia. Additionally, patients with anorexia are characterized by slower response time, reduced motor speed and prominent deficits in the range of vigilance attention than in the case of the control group. Selected neuropsychological tools used to assess attention are presented in the article.

anorexia, attention, cognitive problems

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