Brain-stem auditory evoked potentials in children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa.

OBJECTIVE: In the course of anorexia nervosa (AN), the central nervous system (CNS) undergoes both anatomic and functional changes that may cause disturbances of stimulation transmission in the sensory areas of CNS. Method of brain-stem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) was used in the children with AN to test the auditory pathway transmission.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 37 children and adolescents, aged 10-18 years, with clinically diagnosed AN. BAEPs were recorded after a click stimulation of 75 dB intensity. Then, wave I latency (response from the auditory nerve) and inter-peak latency I-V (IPL I-V; response from the brain-stem) were analyzed.

RESULTS: Abnormalities of the BAEPs recordings were noted total in 32.4% of the study patients. Predominantly (in 24.3%), a decreased transmission within the brain-stem, expressed as the IPL I-V prolongation, was observed. It was also found that the percentage of the abnormal BAEPs results and the degree of IPL I-V prolongation were increasing together with enhancing AN severity.

CONCLUSIONS: IPL I-V prolongation observed in the AN children reflects a disturbed neural transmission in the brain-stem section of the auditory pathway and can be ascribed to impairments in the nerves myelin sheath.

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