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Cognitive Decline in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Which Cognitive Domains are Most Vulnerable and Need to be Considered? | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2471-2701

Clinical and Experimental Psychology
Open Access

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Research Article

Cognitive Decline in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Which Cognitive Domains are Most Vulnerable and Need to be Considered?

Adamski Natalia1, Rost Barbara2, Di Gallo Alain2, Schmeck Klaus2, Opwis Klaus1, Weber Peter3 and Penner Iris-Katharina4,5*

1Department of Cognitive Psychology and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland

2Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, Psychiatric University Hospitals Basel, Switzerland

3Division of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine, University Children’s Hospital, Basel, Switzerland

4COGITO Center for Applied Neurocognition and Neuropsychological Research, Düsseldorf, Germany

5Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany

*Corresponding Author:
Penner IK
Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty
Heinrich-Heine University
Düsseldorf, Germany
Tel: + 49-211-220 588 12
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 18, 2017; Accepted date: August 24, 2017; Published date: August 31, 2017

Citation: Natalia A, Barbara R, Alain DG, Klaus S, Klaus O, et al. (2017) Cognitive Decline in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Which Cognitive Domains are Most Vulnerable and Need to be Considered? Clin Exp Psychol 3: 162. doi: 10.4172/2471-2701.1000162

Copyright: © 2017 Natalia A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: Besides physical complaints, patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) often suffer from cognitive problems. However, it is still a matter of debate whether a specific profile of cognitive disturbances underlies the disease, and if so, whether this profile contributes to the maintenance of the illness and also leads to the development of different subtypes of AN. The aim of the present study was to provide a more detailed knowledge on neuropsychological profiles in patients with AN using an extension of the Ravello Profile test-battery by working memory (WM) tests. Method: Twenty-nine AN patients and 20 healthy controls (HC) participated in the study. Neuropsychological performance was assessed by the Ravello Profile and WM tasks such as Digit Span and Corsi Blocks, 2- and 3-Back tasks, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Paced Auditory Serial and Addition Task, as well as the Verbal Learning and Memory Test. Results: AN patients showed subtle cognitive problems on certain measures including WM performance. Compared to HC, the AN group showed significantly worse performance in verbal short-term and long-term memory, visuospatial WM, inhibition, and switching abilities, subserving successful self-regulation. Discussion: Our results speak in favour of relevance for WM decline in the context of AN. Therefore, tasks assessing visuospatial WM and information processing speed (IPS) should be added to existing test batteries such as the Ravello Profile.