King's College London

Research portal

Brain white matter microstructure in obese women with binge eating disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nara Mendes Estella, Liana Guerra Sanches, Mara Fernandes Maranhão, Marcelo Queiroz Hoexter, Ulrike Schmidt, Iain C. Campbell, Edson Amaro, Angélica Medeiros Claudino

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-535
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

King's Authors


Objective: Research on potential brain circuit abnormalities in binge eating disorder (BED) is limited. Here, we assess white matter (WM) microstructure in obese women with BED. Method: Diffusion tensor imaging data were acquired, and tract-based spatial statistics used to examine WM in women with BED who were obese (n = 17) compared to normal-weight (NWC) (n = 17) and to women who were obese (OBC) (n = 13). Body mass index (BMI) was a covariate in the analyses. Results: The BED group (vs. NWC) had greater axial diffusion (AD) in the forceps minor, anterior thalamic radiation, superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculus, that is, in pathways connecting fronto-limbic regions. Microstructures differences in AD between the BED and OBC groups were seen in fronto-limbic pathways extending to temporoparietal pathways. The BED (vs. OBC) group had greater fractional anisotropy in the forceps minor and greater AD in the superior longitudinal fasciculus, cingulate gyrus, and corpus callosum, consistent with fronto-tempoparietal pathways. Conclusion: Women with BED show WM alterations in AD in fronto-limbic and parietal pathways that are important in decision-making processes. As BMI was a covariate in the analyses, alterations in BED may be part of the pathology, but whether they are a cause or effect of illness is unclear.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454