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According to new research, anorexia will cause a lack of nutrition to the brain, leading to a shrinking brain volume.

This is actually an alarm bell that shows the need for early intervention for people with eating disorders.

Based on a total of 1,648 female brain scans (including 685 with anorexia nervosa) from 22 different locations, the researchers found a decrease in cortical thickness, subcortical volume, and cortical surface area in people with anorexia. Basically, the brain is shrinking.

The study was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. To date, in the world this is the largest study conducted to look at the relationship between eating disorders and gray matter. It shows how important it is to treat this condition as soon as possible.

Psychologist Esther Walton from the University of Bath in the UK said they had been working intensively for years with research teams around the world. According to theresearchers, the reduction in the size and shape of the brain is expressed in people with anorexia 2-4 times more than in people with depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders (OCD).

Fortunately, brain scans show that anorexia treatments, which often include cognitive behavioral therapy, can reverse some of these changes in the brain.

Walton said there was a large decline in brain structure in patients with anorexia, but this marker was less in patients who were on the verge of recovery. This is a good sign, because reality indicates changes in the brain may not be permanent. With proper treatment, the brain can recover.

As more data from future studies becomes available, scientists will be able to better understand exactly what causes a decrease in brain volume in people with anorexia and some of the neural mechanisms behind it.