Article

Evidence of abnormal amygdala functioning in borderline personality disorder: a functional MRI study.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty of Aachen Technical University-RWTH, Aachen, Germany.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 09/2001; 50(4):292-8. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(01)01075-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intense and rapidly changing mood states are a major feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, there have only been a few studies investigating affective processing in BPD, and in particular no neurofunctional correlates of abnormal emotional processing have been identified so far.
Six female BPD patients without additional major psychiatric disorder and six age-matched female control subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure regional cerebral hemodynamic changes following brain activity when viewing 12 standardized emotionally aversive slides compared to 12 neutral slides, which were presented in random order.
Our main finding was that BPD subjects but not control subjects were characterized by an elevated blood oxygenation level dependent fMRI signal in the amygdala on both sides. In addition, activation of the medial and inferolateral prefrontal cortex was seen in BPD patients. Both groups showed activation in the temporo-occipital cortex including the fusiform gyrus in BPD subjects but not in control subjects.
Enhanced amygdala activation in BPD is suggested to reflect the intense and slowly subsiding emotions commonly observed in response to even low-level stressors. Borderline subjects' perceptual cortex may be modulated through the amygdala leading to increased attention to emotionally relevant environmental stimuli.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
150 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emotion dysregulation is a core feature of chronic complex dissociative disorders (DD), as it is for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Chronic complex DD include dissociative identity disorder (DID) and the most common form of dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS, type 1), now known as Other Specified Dissociative Disorders (OSDD, type 1). BPD is a common comorbid disorder with DD, although preliminary research indicates the disorders have some distinguishing features as well as considerable overlap. This article focuses on the epidemiology, clinical presentation, psychological profile, treatment, and neurobiology of chronic complex DD with emphasis placed on the role of emotion dysregulation in each of these areas. Trauma experts conceptualize borderline symptoms as often being trauma based, as are chronic complex DD. We review the preliminary research that compares DD to BPD in the hopes that this will stimulate additional comparative research.
    01/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective Siever and Davis’ (1991) psychobiological framework of borderline personality disorder (BPD) identifies affective instability (AI) as a core dimension characterized by prolonged and intense emotional reactivity. Recently, deficient amygdala habituation, defined as a change in response to repeated relative to novel unpleasant pictures within a session, has emerged as a biological correlate of AI in BPD. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), an evidence-based treatment, targets AI by teaching emotion-regulation skills. This study tested the hypothesis that BPD patients would exhibit decreased amygdala activation and improved habituation, as well as improved emotion regulation with standard 12-month DBT. Methods Event-related fMRI was obtained pre- and post-12-months of standard-DBT in unmedicated BPD patients. Healthy controls (HCs) were studied as a benchmark for normal amygdala activity and change over time (n=11 per diagnostic-group). During each scan, participants viewed an intermixed series of unpleasant, neutral and pleasant pictures presented twice (novel, repeat). Change in emotion regulation was measured with the Difficulty in Emotion Regulation (DERS) scale. Results fMRI results showed the predicted Group×Time interaction: compared with HCs, BPD patients exhibited decreased amygdala activation with treatment. This post-treatment amygdala reduction in BPD was observed for all three pictures types, but particularly marked in the left hemisphere and during repeated-emotional pictures. Emotion regulation measured with the DERS significantly improved with DBT in BPD patients. Improved amygdala habituation to repeated-unpleasant pictures in patients was associated with improved overall emotional regulation measured by the DERS (total score and emotion regulation strategy use subscale). Conclusion These findings have promising treatment implications and support the notion that DBT targets amygdala hyperactivity—part of the disturbed neural circuitry underlying emotional dysregulation in BPD. Future work includes examining how DBT-induced amygdala changes interact with frontal-lobe regions implicated in emotion regulation.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 10/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Patient-reported outcome (PRO) refers to measures that emphasize the subjective view of patients about their health-related conditions and behaviors. Typically, PROs include self-report questionnaires and clinical interviews. Defining PROs for borderline personality disorder (BPD) is particularly challenging given the disorder's high symptomatic heterogeneity, high comorbidity with other psychiatric conditions, highly fluctuating symptoms, weak correlations between symptoms and functional outcomes, and lack of valid and reliable experimental measures to complement self-report data. Here, we provide an overview of currently used BPD outcome measures and discuss them from clinical, psychometric, experimental, and patient perspectives. In addition, we review the most promising leads to improve BPD PROs, including the DSM-5 Section III, the Recovery Approach, Ecological Momentary Assessments, and novel experimental measures of social functioning that are associated with functional and social outcomes.
    Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 06/2014; 16(2):255-66.

Preview

Download
15 Downloads
Available from