Anorexia Nervosa has been associated with white matter abnormalities implicating subcortical abnormal myelination. Extending these findings to intracortical myelin has been challenging but ultra-high field neuroimaging offers new methodological opportunities. To test the integrity of intracortical myelin in AN we used 7 T neuroimaging to acquire T1-weighted images optimized for intracortical myelin from seven females with AN (age range: 18-33) and 11 healthy females (age range: 23-32). Intracortical T1 values (inverse index of myelin concentration) were extracted from 148 cortical regions at ten depth-levels across the cortical ribbon. Across all cortical regions, these levels were averaged to generate estimates of total intracortical myelin concentration and were clustered using principal component analyses into two clusters; the outer cluster comprised T1 values across depth-levels ranging from the CSF boundary to the middle of the cortical regions and the inner cluster comprised T1 values across depth-levels ranging from the middle of the cortical regions to the gray/white matter boundary. Individuals with AN exhibited higher T1 values (i.e., decreased intracortical myelin concentration) in all three metrics. It remains to be established if these abnormalities result from undernutrition or specific lipid nutritional imbalances, or are trait markers; and whether they may contribute to neurobiological deficits seen in AN.
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