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Clínica y Salud

versión On-line ISSN 2174-0550versión impresa ISSN 1130-5274


ZEGARRA-VALDIVIA, Jonathan Adrián  y  CHINO-VILCA, Brenda Nadia. Social Cognition and Executive Function Impairment in Young Women with Anorexia Nervosa. Clínica y Salud [online]. 2018, vol.29, n.3, pp.107-113. ISSN 2174-0550.

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a very debilitating disorder and has shown different cognitive deficit patterns. Some of them are controversial because they relate some deficit with autistic traits. Both, social cognition and executive function are top-down processes that regulate social interaction and adaptive behavior in a complex world. Neurocognitive profiles focused on this process are especially useful as endophenotypes in clinic research and intervention.The aims of this study are (1) assessing the contribution of social cognition and executive function to socio-emotional and neurocognitive patterns in anorexia nervosa and (2) investigating the possible relationships between social cognition tasks and executive function measures and clinic features in this eating disorder. Fifteen adolescents with anorexia nervosa and 15 healthy controls took part in this study. Patients were diagnosed with DSM-IV-R criteria. They had suffered the disease for 3 years (SD ± 1.47). They were compared in social cognition (Reading the Mind in the Eyes and the IOWA Gambling Task) and executive function (verbal fluency tasks, trail making test, and digit span test [DST] from the WAIS-III). The results show that there was a significant difference in social cognition, at the theory of mind and the IOWA gambling task. Finally, for the executive function task, adolescents with AN displayed significant differences in both direct DST and inverse DST, as well as in semantic fluency and phonological fluency compared with controls. These domains show different highly-significant relationships that could explain neurocognitive profiles. In conclusion, many differences were found between adolescents with AN and healthy controls. AN patients displayed important deficits in theory of mind recognition, executive function, and decision making. These deficits could play a role in maintaining pathological patterns and also important endophenotypes in research and intervention might be considered.

Palabras clave : Anorexia nervosa; Endophenotypes; Eating disorders; Executive function; Social cognition.

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