Apr 4, 2012

Coherence and other autistic spectrum traits and eating disorders: building from mechanism to treatment. The Birgit Olsson lecture

Nordic Journal of Psychiatry
Janet Treasure


To revisit Gillberg's hypothesis proposed in 1992, which was that anorexia nervosa should be considered within the spectrum of autistic disorders. A search was made of the literature relating to the behavioural traits, and cognitive, emotional and neuroanatomical intermediate phenotypes that are shared between autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and anorexia nervosa. People with eating disorders in the acute phase (less so after recovery) share some behavioural traits (social impairment and restricted and repetitive behaviours) and intermediate phenotypes (weak central coherence, and impaired set shifting and theory of mind) with people in the autistic spectrum. Behavioural and intermediate neuropsychological traits are shared between eating disorders and ASD. In part, these are familial but also they are accentuated by the illness state and may be secondary to starvation. These traits have implications for prognosis and treatment.

  • References49
  • Citations17

Mentioned in this Paper

Autistic Disorder
Anorexia Symptom
Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa
EAF2 gene
Impaired Health

Related Feeds

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric condition characterized by severe weight loss and secondary problems associated with malnutrition. Here is the latest research on AN.


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