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. (2023) White matter microstructure in habit and reward circuits in anorexia nervosa: Insights from a neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 147 (2). pp. 134-144. ISSN 0001-690X. doi:10.1111/acps.13521.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Background: Behavioral 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 and 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 behaviors, illness duration, or BMI. Conclusions: Adolescents with AN exhibit less dense, undermyelinated, and less dispersed white matter tracts connecting prominent reward system nodes, which could potentially 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:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemDiscussion Paper
Murray, Stuart B.0000-0002-5588-2915
Cabeen, Ryan P.0000-0002-1372-3588
Jann, Kay0000-0003-3574-0538
Tadayonnejad, Reza0000-0002-4665-6721
Strober, Michael0000-0001-9134-317X
Feusner, Jamie D.0000-0002-0391-345X
Additional Information: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).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221209-478595000.7
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:118284
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:11 Jan 2023 16:26
Last Modified:26 Jan 2023 23:47

Repository Staff Only: item control page