Cognitive Profile of Children and Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa

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Few studies of cognitive functioning in children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been conducted. The aim of this study was to examine the neurocognitive and intelligence profile of this clinical group.


The study was a matched case–control (N = 188), multi-centre study including children and adolescents with AN (N = 94) and healthy control participants (N = 94).


The results suggest that Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III/Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III) in this patient group is close to the normal population mean of 100. Individuals with AN exhibited significantly worse performance in nonverbal intelligence functions (i.e. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III/Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III, Perceptual Organization Index) and in verbal memory (Test of Memory and Learning—Second Edition, Memory for Stories) and motor speed (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, Simple and Choice Reaction Time) compared with healthy control participants. No significant difference in set-shifting ability (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift and Trail Making Test B) was found.


Inefficiency in nonverbal intelligence functions and in specific cognitive functions was found in this study of children and adolescents with AN. © 2014 The Authors. European Eating Disorders Review published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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