Childhood maltreatment (CM) is a non-specific risk factor for eating disorders (ED) and is associated with a greater severity in their clinical presentation and poorer treatment outcome. These data suggest that maltreated people with ED may be biologically other than clinically different from non-maltreated people. The aim of the present study was to investigate cortical thickness (CT), a possible biomarker of neurodevelopment, in people with ED with or without history of CM and in healthy women. Twenty-four healthy women, 26 with anorexia nervosa and 24 with bulimia nervosa underwent a 3T MRI scan. All participants filled in the childhood trauma questionnaire. All neuroimaging data were processed by FreeSurfer. Twenty-four participants with ED were identified as maltreated and 26 participants with ED as non-maltreated. All healthy women were non-maltreated. Compared to healthy women, maltreated people with ED showed lower CT in the left rostral anterior cingulate gyrus, while compared to people with ED without history of CM showed lower CT values in the left superior frontal and in right caudal middle frontal and superior parietal gyri. No significant differences emerged in CT measures between healthy women and people with ED without history of CM. The present findings show for the first time that in adult people with ED childhood maltreatment is associated with cortical thinning in areas implicated in the modulation of brain processes that are acknowledged to play a role in the psychopathology of ED.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Open access funding provided by Università degli Studi di Salerno within the CRUI-CARE Agreement. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
© 2022, The Author(s).
- Childhood maltreatment
- Cortical thickness
- Eating disorders
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article