Intrinsic connectivity networks within cerebellum and beyond in eating disorders

Cerebellum. 2013 Oct;12(5):623-31. doi: 10.1007/s12311-013-0471-1.


Cerebellum seems to have a role both in feeding behavior and emotion regulation; therefore, it is a region that warrants further neuroimaging studies in eating disorders, severe conditions that determine a significant impairment in the physical and psychological domain. The aim of this study was to examine the cerebellum intrinsic connectivity during functional magnetic resonance imaging resting state in anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and healthy controls (CN). Resting state brain activity was decomposed into intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) using group spatial independent component analysis on the resting blood oxygenation level dependent time courses of 12 AN, 12 BN, and 10 CN. We extracted the cerebellar ICN and compared it between groups. Intrinsic connectivity within the cerebellar network showed some common alterations in eating disordered compared to healthy subjects (e.g., a greater connectivity with insulae, vermis, and paravermis and a lesser connectivity with parietal lobe); AN and BN patients were characterized by some peculiar alterations in connectivity patterns (e.g., greater connectivity with the insulae in AN compared to BN, greater connectivity with anterior cingulate cortex in BN compared to AN). Our data are consistent with the presence of different alterations in the cerebellar network in AN and BN patients that could be related to psychopathologic dimensions of eating disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cerebellum / pathology*
  • Cerebellum / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / pathology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Neuroimaging / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / pathology
  • Nerve Net / physiopathology
  • Young Adult