Body distortions after massive weight loss: lack of updating of the body schema hypothesis
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Behavioural therapy and bariatric surgery often produce rapid, massive body weight loss that may impact a patient's ability to gauge his/her new body shape. Although the patient is aware of the weight loss, he/she continues to feel obese, as if there was a conflict between the previous body schema and the new one. Here, we report the case of a 40-year-old woman who developed major body distortions after massive weight loss. Psychometric and behavioural assessments revealed strong disturbances in several tasks involving body representation. In particular, we observed abnormal behaviour in a body-scaled action task. Our findings suggest that the rapidity of our patient's weight loss prevented her central nervous system from correctly updating the body schema.
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