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Attention, executive functions, and mentalizing in anorexia nervosa eighteen years after onset of eating disorder

Journal article
Authors I Carina Gillberg
Eva Billstedt
Elisabet Wentz
Henrik Anckarsäter
Maria Råstam
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume 32
Issue 4
Pages 358-365
ISSN 1380-3395
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 358-365
Language en
Keywords Adult, Age Factors, Age of Onset, Anorexia Nervosa, Complications, Psychology, Attention, Physiology, Cognition Disorders, Etiology, Disease Progression, Executive Function, Physiology, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Predictive Value of Tests, Regression Analysis, Statistics, Nonparametric, Theory of Mind, Physiology, Young Adult
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


OBJECTIVE: Prospective study of attention, executive functions, and mentalizing abilities in a representative sample of teenage-onset anorexia nervosa (AN). METHOD: A total of 51 AN cases recruited after community screening were contrasted with 51 matched comparison cases 18 years after AN onset. Neuropsychological tests had been done at 21, 24, and 32 years (18 years after AN onset). RESULTS: The AN-group had more attention, executive function, and mentalizing problems. Some of these problems had been present at all three follow-up occasions. CONCLUSIONS: AN is associated with a range of neuropsychological problems that are present long after the eating disorder per se is no longer an important feature.

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