The neurostructural and neurocognitive effects of physical activity: A potential benefit to promote eating disorder recovery.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Eating Disorders, 54(10), 1766–1770 10.1002/eat.23582
Accumulating evidence suggests that supervised and adapted physical activity pro-vides cognitive benefits for individuals with eating disorders (EDs). The mechanismsunderlying the benefits of physical activity are poorly understood. Addressing thisknowledge gap may inform the appropriate integration of structured physical activityinto eating disorders treatment and recovery. We draw attention to recent findingsin the study of the impact of physical activity on the brain, and we describe the neu-rostructural and neurocognitive changes associated with physical activity observed invarious clinical and nonclinical populations. Considering the identified impairment inbrain volume- and/or neurocognitive function in various EDs, we propose that posi-tive effects of physical activity may play a meaningful role in successful ED treat-ment. Accordingly, we outline research steps for closing the knowledge gap on howphysical activity may aid in ED recovery, and emphasize the need to combine mea-sures of cognitive and behavioral responses to physical activity, with technologycapable of measuring changes in brain structure and/or function.