gms | German Medical Science

4. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e. V. (DGESS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e. V.

20.03. - 22.03.2014, Leipzig

Hippocampal volume changes, perceived stress, and coping deficiencies in Anorexia nervosa

Meeting Abstract

Suche in Medline nach

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Nathalie Burkert - Medical University Graz, Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Graz, Austria
  • author Karl Koschutnig - Karl Franzens University Graz, Institute of Psychology, Graz, Austria
  • author Franz Ebner - Medical University Graz, Clinic of Neuroradiology, Graz, Austria
  • author Wolfgang Freidl - Medical University Graz, Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Graz, Austria

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V. (DGESS). 4. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen. Leipzig, 20.-22.03.2014. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2014. Doc14dgess081

doi: 10.3205/14dgess081, urn:nbn:de:0183-14dgess0813

Veröffentlicht: 17. März 2014

© 2014 Burkert et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Background: Anorexia nervosa (AN) mainly affects young women and is the most severe mental disorder. Because the hippocampus plays a crucial role regarding coping, stress and emotions, the aim of ourstudy was to analyze the volume of hippocampal sub-structures, and possible associations with stress and coping in AN.

Material/Methods: Data of twenty-one women who were suffering from AN and 21 healthy age-matched control women (CW) was analyzed. Demographic and behavioral data as well as data concerning the brain structure from a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner (MR) was collected. Comparisons between groups were performed using multivariate analyses of variance. Additionally, correlations were calculated between the volume of the hippocampus with coping strategies and stress.

Results: Our results showed that the hippocampal presubiculum and hippocampal fimbria is significantly reduced in AN while the hippocampal fissure is enlarged. Compared to CW, patients with AN use less positive coping strategies and perceive more stress. In AN the total volume of the hippocampus was associated with stress and positive coping.

Conclusion: To summarize, our study provides evidence that stress and coping in AN are related to hippocampal alterations. This evidence can help to better understand the pathophysiology of AN and in turn improve treatment.