Scientific publications

Associations Between Neuropsychological Performance and Appetite-Regulating Hormones in Anorexia Nervosa and Healthy Controls: Ghrelin's Putative Role as a Mediator of Decision-Making

Nov 1, 2019 | Magazine: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology

Georgios Paslakis 1 , Zaida Agüera 2 , Roser Granero 3 , Isabel Sánchez 4 , Nadine Riesco 4 , Susana Jiménez-Murcia 5 , Jose C Fernández-García 6 , Lourdes Garrido-Sánchez 6 , Francisco J Tinahones 6 , Felipe F Casanueva 7 , Rosa M Baños 8 , Cristina Botella 9 , Ana B Crujeiras 7 , Rafael de la Torre 10 , Jose M Fernández-Real 11 , Gema Frühbeck 12 , Francisco J Ortega 11 , Amaia Rodríguez 12 , Luís Serra-Majem 13 , Montserrat Fitó 14 , José M Menchón 15 , Fernando Fernández-Aranda 16


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe eating disorder accompanied by alterations in endocrinological circuits and deficits in neuropsychological performance. In this study, a series of appetite-regulating hormones (ghrelin, leptin, cholecystokinin, PYY, adiponectin, and visfatin) were measured under fasting conditions in female patients with AN and female healthy controls.

All of the participants also underwent a battery of neuropsychological assessment [namely the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and the Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT)]. As the main finding, we found that higher ghrelin levels predict better performance in the IGT.

Ghrelin may be a putative mediator of decision-making, a finding that has not been described so far. The role of ghrelin in decision-making can only be described as speculative, as there are hardly any additional evidence-based data published up to date. Further studies are warranted.

CITATION  Mol Cell Endocrinol . 2019 Nov 1;497:110441.
doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2019.04.021. Epub 2019 May 20.