A Caltech Library Service

White Matter Microstructure in Habit and Reward Circuits in Anorexia Nervosa: Insights from a Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging Study

Murray, Stuart B. and Cabeen, Ryan P. and Jann, Kay and Tadayonnejad, Reza and Strober, Michael and Feusner, Jamie D. (2022) White Matter Microstructure in Habit and Reward Circuits in Anorexia Nervosa: Insights from a Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging Study. . (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Background: Behavioural features of anorexia nervosa (AN) suggest abnormalities in reward and habit. Neuroimaging evidence suggests morphometric and functional perturbations within these circuits, although fewer studies have assessed white matter characteristics in AN, and no studies to date have assessed white matter microstructure in AN. Methods: In this brain imaging study, 29 female adolescents with partially or fully weight-restored AN and 27 healthy controls, all between 10-19 years, underwent whole-brain multi-shell diffusion tensor imaging. Utilizing neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging methods, we investigated group differences in white matter neurite density, orientation dispersion, and myelin density in tracts between prominent nodes of the reward circuit (ventral tegmental area (VTA) to nucleus accumbens (NAcc)) and the habit circuit (sensory motor area (SMA) to putamen). Results: Findings revealed reduced neurite (F=5.20, p=0.027) and myelin density (F=5.39, p=0.025) in the left VTA-NAcc tract, and reduced orientation dispersion in the left (F=7.00, p=0.011) and right (F=6.77, p=0.012) VTA-NAcc tract. There were no significant group differences in the SMA-putamen tract. Significant relationships, after corrections, were not evident between tract microstructure and reward responsiveness, compulsive behaviours, illness duration, or BMI. Conclusions: Adolescents with AN exhibit less dense, undermyelinated, and less dispersed white matter tracts connecting prominent reward system nodes, which may signify underutilization of this part of the reward circuit. These results provide a detailed examination of white matter microstructure in tracts underlying instrumental behavioral phenotypes contributing to illness in AN.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemJournal Article
Murray, Stuart B.0000-0002-5588-2915
Cabeen, Ryan P.0000-0002-1372-3588
Jann, Kay0000-0003-3574-0538
Tadayonnejad, Reza0000-0002-4665-6721
Feusner, Jamie D.0000-0002-0391-345X
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. The authors would like to thank the research participants for their interest and their generosity of time in participating in the study. The study was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH105662 to JDF; K23MH115184 to SBM). Data Availability. the data are available upon reasonable request to the Corresponding Author. Author Declarations: The authors have declared no competing interest. The authors all declare that they have no financial disclosures. I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained. - Yes The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below: This study was approved by the UCLA Institutional Review Board, and all participants provided assent, and informed consent was obtained from parents or legal guardians. I confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals. - Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). - Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. - Yes
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220722-769594000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:White Matter Microstructure in Habit and Reward Circuits in Anorexia Nervosa: Insights from a Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging Study Stuart B Murray, Ryan Cabeen, Kay Jann, Reza Tadayonnejad, Michael Strober, Jamie Feusner medRxiv 2022.07.20.22277868; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115801
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:25 Jul 2022 19:48
Last Modified:11 Jan 2023 00:53

Repository Staff Only: item control page